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Questions about Moodle GPL licence

 
Picture of Salman Zaidi
Questions about Moodle GPL licence
 

Any idea or clarification about my following questions? I would be thankful for cthis

I am creating a website application using Moodle software, the website will be teaching language, and nothing to do with information technology.

I need clarity on what you mean by "*Modified Version*" Why should my language students be interested in the source code of the platform.

Also what do you mean by *'program's users'* - does this refer to students?  who access my application to learn language, or other software programmers who may want to create a similar application - am I obliged by the GPL to give them my modified source code?

Also with respect to this GPL, what is the definition of "modified program"?


Please refer to the below FAQ from your website

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic

Q: Does the GPL require that source code of modified versions be posted to the public? (#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic  https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#GPLRequireSourcePostedPublic>)


Q: Does the GPL require that source code of modified versions be posted to the public if we use moodle as part of our project?

(Please see para below from GPL)

The GPL does not require you to release your modified version, or any part of it. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.  

But *if* you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.

Thus, the GPL gives permission to release the modified program in certain ways, and not in other ways; but the decision of whether to release it is

up to you.

Q2: Does it mean that if my organization uses Moodle in the business, we can not release this project to the public rather we can only use internally? If it is so, how can we execute our project using Moodle? We are to sell courses to the public.

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Sorry for misconceptions if have, clarification will be highly appreciated:

Regards

Salman


 
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Davo
Re: Questions about Moodle GPL licence
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

This has come up several times in the Moodle forums.

My understanding of the situation (and I am not a lawyer, but this seems to fit with most people's understanding of the GPL) is that running software on a server and using it to generate the web pages that users access is NOT counted as distributing the software.

This means that you can run modified versions of the Moodle code on your server and there is no requirement for you to provide the source code to anyone. If you do provide the source code to someone, however, they are fully within their rights to modify it further and use it how they want.

There is a separate licence called AGPL, which Moodle does NOT use, which does require you to provide the source code for websites running that code (which again, strengthens the case that GPL itself does not require you to share the source code for websites - as, if it did, there would be no reason for AGPL to exist).

 
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Picture of Mark Johnson
Re: Questions about Moodle GPL licence
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Why should my language students be interested in the source code of the platform.

The idea behind the GPL is that your language students are not just language students, they're people who may be interested in how the software they are using works, and so they should be allowed to view and modify the source code if they wish.

However, David's quite right in that hosting a site based on Moodle code does not oblige you to distribute the source code under the GPL, since this is not considered "releasing" your software under the terms of this license.

 
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