Odoo SA has announced that the next version will be released under LGPLv3. After long discussions, a compromise was found between the OCA Board and Odoo SA on that license. This will enable the editor to open the app store it intends to build and to mitigate the perceived risk of an AGPL license interaction with a CMS component within the product.
At the same time, the Copyleft nature of LGPL ensures the FLOSS nature of Odoo is preserved. With this in mind, the OCA Board encourages Odoo contributors to accept the license change for their contributions to the core of Odoo.
Regarding the OCA addons, the OCA Board’s decision is to keep the AGPL for existing addons. The reason for this decision is twofold:
First, the OCA Board asked a lawyer specialized in Intellectual Property and FLOSS for advice about a license change. His answer confirmed that we would need the agreement of all contributors of a module to change its licensing. Since we don’t have a CLA signed for all past contributors, we would need to contact each of them one by one, a tedious task, and if any refused to change the license, then we would have faced the choice to either leave the addon unchanged or to remove it from the OCA.
Second, all the contributions made to the OCA were made under that AGPL license, and the board felt that the best interest of its members was to stay with the AGPL, in line with the GNU project’s recommendations. Both the AGPL and the LGPL licenses are Copyleft license, which is a strong FLOSS statement. The additional benefit of the AGPL is to protect users of OCA addons from being locked-in by service providers. The license guarantees that they will be able to ask any service provider for the whole source code of their instance, and that they will stay free to change providers. This freedom of choice is an important part of a FLOSS ecosystem.
For future contributions, we think every contributor should be able to choose the license under which he wants to release his code. The OCA will accept modules released under any of the OSI approved license compatible with the OCA code base.
The OCA Board acknowledges the huge contribution made by Odoo s.a. to the FLOSS ecosystem, and is fully aware of the investment made by Odoo s.a. in the development of Odoo. The Board therefore encourages all Odoo users to purchase an Odoo Enterprise contract for their instance to support the R&D effort of Odoo s.a. which benefits everyone in the community.
The OCA Board
The Odoo Community Association, or OCA, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the collaborative development of Odoo features and promote its widespread use. The Association provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader Odoo Open Source community. It also serves as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute to the code, the funding and other resources, with the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit. More about us on http://odoo-community.org/.