Koha copyright license

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Current Koha Copyright License

From the time Koha was first released by Katipo Communications in 2000, Koha has always used the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPL 2), invoked with the user's option of choosing a later version of the license from the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

Possible License Upgrade Choices

In 2007, the FSF finalised two options to which software licensed as GPL 2, invoked with an or later version option, may be upgraded. Those licenses are the GNU General Public License version 3 (GPL 3) and the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPL 3).

There have been discussions on the Koha mailing lists about the possibility of upgrading the Koha copyright license to either GPL 3, with an or later version option, or AGPL 3, with an or later version option.

Open Comment Links

The wiki has pages for commenting on all sides of copyright license options for Koha.

There are separate advocacy only pages for the Koha 3.4 copyright license upgrade ballot.

Upgrade Process

Advice from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) on the process needed for upgrading from GPL 2, invoked with an or later version option, has clarified the simplicity of the process.

For upgrading to either GPL 3 or AGPL 3, the overall copyright license statement for the software as a whole is the only copyright license statement which would need to be changed. Copyright license headers for included files may remain with any GPL 3/AGPL 3 compatible license.

Upgrading to AGPL 3 from GPL 2 technically involves momentarily upgrading to GPL 3 and then upgrading from GPL 3 to AGPL 3 using GPL 3 section 13. Formally upgrading to AGPL 3 from GPL 2 need not involve anything more than a formal project announcement of an upgrade to GPL 3 followed by an announcement of an upgrade to AGPL 3. Any comprehensive effort which might optionally be taken for changing the copyright license headers in many files need only be taken with respect to AGPL 3 if that is the chosen license.

Copyright License Upgrade Ballot for Koha 3.4

Upgrading the copyright license for Koha 3.4 is being considered for a ballot. Koha 3.4 is currently under development and will follow Koha 3.2, the current stable version. The question would not affect Koha 3.2 nor any previous version.

Ballot Options Meeting

A special #koha IRC meeting to discuss procedures for developing a ballot of options for either upgrading the Koha copyright license for Koha 3.4 or keeping the current license and procedures for holding a vote on the question, Koha Copyright License Upgrade Ballot IRC Meeting - 13 July 2010.

Ballot Option Advocacy Links

License option advocacy summaries are being prepared in short 150 word limit form for inclusion within the ballot for Koha 3.4 and in long form to be linked from the ballot.

Comments about the individual license options on all sides and independent of the ballot procedures have their own separate places for open comment in the wiki. The license options will also continue to be discussed on the Koha mailing list.

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