We all know that Drupal is Open Source. What does that mean to the developer and the customer?
On a recent episode of Talking Drupal (www.talkingdrupal.com/132) we discussed Drupal licensing with Kevin Reynen from the Drupal Licensing Working Group. As a developer focussed podcast, we talked mostly about the licensing from a developers perspective.
Developers should keep in mind:
- Any code written for Drupal must have a GPL license, which has the four freedoms: 1) The freedom to run the program, for any purpose 2) The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. 3) The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor. 4) The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions, giving the community a chance to benefit from your changes.
- If you are building a business around Drupal, you should understand the GPL and consult with an attorney.
- You should understand what distribution means. When you distribute your code, your are triggering the four freedoms.
- You can sell modules and themes! But they are sold under the GPL, which means they can be modified and distributed.
If you are 'purchasing' a Drupal website, you should also understand the GPL. Just because you are using Drupal, an open source solution, does not mean you have access to the website code. You should have a clause in your contract that requires the developer to provide you with the source code. Again, you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your rights.