Adding the GPL to Fluid license? - requesting input

Mark Norton markjnorton at
Thu Jan 10 17:14:55 UTC 2008

I had a look at Moodlerooms Terms of Service.  Had trouble accessing the 
site, so used Google Cache:

Interesingly, there is VERY little mention of Moodle in the TOS.  This 
line is interesting, however:

"Moodlerooms provides expertise and energy to train your instructors, 
customize Moodle to your specifications, host Moodle at an 
enterprise-level stemming from superior hardware and software 
engineering, connect your legacy information systems to Moodle through 
integrations, and convert your courses so that they work in Moodle."

Customize Moodle, eh?  Sounds like thin ice to me.

- Mark

Lennard Fuller wrote:
> MoodleRooms source code is open and available.  They also provide 
> services such as corporate hosting.  It is not that GPL precludes any 
> commercial usage... it is just that the license places some severe 
> limitations on how it can be used.  Personally, I am not for adding 
> the GPL license.  If we absolutely HAVE to have some form of the GPL, 
> please consider using the LGPL.
> Mara Hancock wrote:
>> This is very interesting. I agree with Mark that this seems like an 
>> attempt to avoid the inevitable conflict between the licenses. I fear 
>> that it make the management of the code contributions so complicated 
>> that it will need a full time code gatekeeper. I came into the 
>> conversation late yesterday, but I thought  that Colin had some very 
>> concrete examples of why he thought this might be a good thing. It 
>> would be good to hear those. Right now I am on the -1 track but 
>> willing to be convinced otherwise. I would love to know the answer to 
>> the question about Moodle Rooms.
>> Thanks, Mara
>> On Jan 10, 2008, at 8:00 AM, Lennard Fuller wrote:
>>> Many of my clients specifically ask me to avoid GPL, some of that 
>>> set of
>>> clients will accept an LGPL if no other reasonable alternative exists.
>>> Oddly enough... over the last 7 years I have yet to have had a single
>>> client that has demanded the use of GPL exclusively.
>>> -Lennard Fuller
>>> Mark Norton wrote:
>>>> This sounds like an attempt to please all of the people all of the 
>>>> time.
>>>> The fact is there are some very different philosophies in the open
>>>> source community, primarily divided between those who favor commercial
>>>> use and those who don't. If Fluid is licensed (as it currently is) 
>>>> under
>>>> ECL 2.0, then the Sakai community will likely be satisfied, since 
>>>> it has
>>>> a more inclusive view of open source use. However, I suspect that 
>>>> those
>>>> in other camps will not be satisfied with a GPL license if it is also
>>>> licensed under ECL. What's the point, really?
>>>> Who specifically needs a GPL license for Fluid?
>>>> - Mark Norton
>>>> Sheila Crossey wrote:
>>>>> All,
>>>>> We are considering adding the GPL to the Fluid licensing scheme and
>>>>> are seeking input on the ramifications this would have.
>>>>> Refresher:
>>>>> Fluid is currently dual-licensed under ECL 2.0 and BSD licenses. The
>>>>> BSD license was selected to enable combining with GPL-licensed code
>>>>> (as BSD is deemed to be GPL compatible whereas ECL 2.0 is not) and to
>>>>> avoid forking of the code (BSD is not copyleft so code licensed under
>>>>> BSD can be merged into non-copyleft code).
>>>>> Issue:
>>>>> Some communities who license their code under the GPL will not adopt
>>>>> any third party code unless it also is licensed under GPL; that is, a
>>>>> GPL-compatible license such as BSD does not solve the problem (even
>>>>> though technically, it should).
>>>>> Proposed solution:
>>>>> Tri-license Fluid under ECL 2.0, BSD, and GPL V2.
>>>>> GPL V3 was considered as an option, but rejected as there are some
>>>>> parties who have licensed a considerable body of code under GPL V2 
>>>>> and
>>>>> who will not move to GPL V3 as they have various objections to the 
>>>>> new
>>>>> terms. We can apply GPL V2 in a way that will permit the option of
>>>>> applying GPL V3 to those who wish to.
>>>>> Risk/Benefit:
>>>>> The benefit would be potentially increased penetration and usage of
>>>>> Fluid code.
>>>>> One risk is that GPL communities could license their modifications to
>>>>> Fluid code solely under GPL thus creating a separate fork. The 
>>>>> chances
>>>>> of this happening could be reduced by publicizing this negative 
>>>>> impact
>>>>> of single-licensing under the GPL.
>>>>> A second risk is that communities who are concerned about the effects
>>>>> of GPL’s copyleft terms might be uncomfortable adopting Fluid if the
>>>>> GPL is one of the licenses which apply to it. We need input from 
>>>>> Sakai
>>>>> regarding this.
>>>>> As there may be other risks arising from the increased complexity of
>>>>> tri-licensing and adding copyleft into the mix, I encourage anyone
>>>>> with expertise, or access to it, to weigh in on this.
>>>>> Sheila
>>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> Sheila Crossey
>>>>> Senior Project Coordinator
>>>>> Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
>>>>> Faculty of Information Studies
>>>>> University of Toronto
>>>>> voice: (416) 946-7820
>>>>> fax: (416) 971-2896
>>>>> email: sheila.crossey at <mailto:sheila.crossey at>
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>>>> fluid-work at
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