The board of Open Source Matters (OSM) has voted to approve the request submitted by the Joomla! Production Leadership Team (PLT) to change the license of the Joomla Framework from GPL v2+ to LGPL v2.1+. It is important to understand that this license change applies only to the Joomla Framework, and does not affect the GPL v2+ license for the Joomla Content Management System (CMS).
This decision by OSM was the final step in a process that started early last year, when the PLT first initiated a public email list discussion and then conducted a survey aimed at the Joomla developer community. When the results of that survey indicated strong support for that potential license change, the PLT requested that OSM research legal issues regarding this potential change for the Joomla Framework. The conclusion of OSM's research with the assistance of the Software Freedom Law Center was that there were no legal barriers to prevent potentially making that change.
For more background about this issue, please refer to this previous announcement that included a request from OSM for public comments and feedback.
What does this change mean?
The Joomla Framework is a set of classes and methods that can be used to develop a variety of applications.
The LGPL-licensed Joomla Framework remains open source, but developers who utilize Framework libraries now have the option to use any license they wish for their applications. However, the LGPL Framework libraries must always be released as LGPL, including any modifications made to them by the developer.
Using the LGPL license for the Joomla Framework will enable more developers to use it in combination with other PHP libraries as they work to develop and distribute the next generation of PHP-based applications.
The roadmap for the CMS calls for a future version of the Joomla Framework to be used within it. When that happens, the GPL license for the CMS will apply to any combined Joomla Framework + CMS application.
To learn more about what this license change means for the Joomla Framework, please read this announcment on the Joomla Developer Network website: LGPL License Change Approved for the Joomla Framework.
There is still more work to be done before this license change for the Joomla Framework will be completed, such as getting confirmation from the Software Freedom Law Center about some implementation points.
Also, an idea that came up in the recent public forum discussion was to consider a potential new name for the Joomla Framework. OSM feels that this idea deserves some more investigation. A separate announcement will be published when progress on that idea has been made.
Moving forward - together
During the past year, OSM has investigated multiple legal questions and discussed a variety of other points surrounding this important issue. We followed the recent public discussion in the forum closely before setting aside time for a final discussion and vote.
OSM gives our sincere thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts and ideas on all sides of this important and complex issue. Our motivation has been to make a thoughtful decision that is in the best interest of our project and our community.
Please share your thoughts and comments about this announcement in this public forum thread: