Open Source Licensing

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At Alfresco, we have made a decision to participate in the open source movement, and so we want the software development community to understand what we intend to contribute to the community, and how we hope the community will work with us. This page is intended to help you understand our mission and our intention in working with the community, and the intellectual property policies we have developed to enable our goals.

We license our product under the Lesser Gnu Public License (LGPL) v3.

Alfresco has developed a content repository system designed to improve the collaboration, control and compliance of business documents and associated business processes. Our mission is to be the custodian of this repository standard, and to propagate this standard through the industry. We want to enable any developer to use the Alfresco repository model to maintain and manage content, whether that developer is an open source developer or a commercial developer. For that reason, we have chosen the [LGPL v3][1] as the basis for our license.

We license our product under other licenses upon request.

If you are a commercial developer, and would prefer to receive our product under a commercial license agreement, or a different free software license (such as CDDL, CPL, or Mozilla), we are happy to discuss this with you on a case-by-case basis. Because we have made our software available under the Lesser Gnu Public License, and we hope that will be acceptable to most commercial developers.

If you are not sure whether the LGPL is right for you, you can always test our software under the LGPL and inspect the source code before you contact us about purchasing a commercial license.

Our commercial products include support and services.

While you may download our software product under the LGPL free of charge, we also offer our software under a commercial license. The commercial product includes services such as support, maintenance, professional services, integration, or the like. To purchase these services, customers enter into agreements with us describing our services and the fees we charge for them. Our customer agreements can be found here: http://www.alfresco.com/legal/agreements.

We welcome contributions to our source tree.

We welcome you to submit fixes, improvements, or other contributions to our code base. If you release any changes under the LGPL, as may be required by that license, we would appreciate your letting us know, so we can evaluate whether they would benefit the community as a whole. Of course, to maintain the integrity of our products, we will need to exercise discretion as to whether contributions you offer are included in our official source tree.

If you make contributions, and we accept them into our source tree, we want to make sure we have the flexibility to use those contributions under the LGPL, other terms we may use in the future, or commercial terms. Of course, nothing will prevent you from making your contributions available under any open source licensing terms you choose. We simply ask that you allow us this flexibility, so our intellectual property position does not become too complicated. As a company, we have made a decision to make our intellectual property available to the community, so we want to make sure our resources are devoted to making our products the best they can be, rather than fighting legal battles over contributions. Therefore, if you wish to contribute code, we ask that you do so under our standard contribution agreement, which gives us this flexibility.

Our trademarks protect us, and the community

While the LGPL gives you freedom to change our software, we need to make sure this does not conflict with our responsibility to maintain our trademarks. Our trademarks are important to us as a company, of course, but also to the consuming public, which will associate our trademarks with the quality and reputation of our business. We need to strictly enforce our trademark rights to keep them valid, and to protect the public. Please review our Trademark Guidelines for more information about when our trademarks can and shouldn't be used.

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