For those of you that haven’t read it yet, there’s a fascinating post over on the Joomla forums, that touches on many crucial questions for the project.
The thread started innocuously when one member posted a “Things I don’t like about Joomla” list. In trying to answer them, lead developer Johan Jansseens mentioned that, “Encryption of Joomla! extensions is a violation of the GPL”. This generated more questions than it answered, because many Joomla components are encrypted and thus potentially violating the Joomla! license.
Some of the Key Issues
- Licensing. What is the most appropriate way for Open Source developers to monetize their work?
- Encryption. How far should developers be allowed to go in protecting thier work?
- Commercialism. How much is the community willing to tolerate?
- Enforcement. What should Joomla’s reaction to be to license infringements?
- Divergent Interests. How can Joomla balance the needs of hobbyists, non-profits, developers, small business, big businesses and others?
Why No Easy Answers?
- Its a complex issue. Each component would need to be judged on its own merit. The GPL is open to interpretation. Someone would probably need to examine each component to judge whether it infringes.
- Its a new issue. An Intellectual Property lawyer with subtantial Open Source experience mentions that he has “yet to see any judgments on this issue“.
- Its a community issue. The point Johan uses most in his answers is, “this is open for debate” and “I would love to hear more community feedback”.
Over to You
If you’re interested in the future of Joomla, you need to read this thread.