Addon licensing now required to be GPL2-compatible
As of now, new & updated addons distributed on this site must be distributed under a GPL2-compatible license. Preferrably, one of:
- GNU GPL2
- GNU LGPL
- Mozilla Public License (MPL) v2
A notice has been added to the addon upload pages to make this clear. The GNU GPL2 will be used as the default if no license is declared from now on.
Why are we changing this?
The addons directory should be a safe learning & sharing resource, and a collaborative effort for improving Vanilla. Putting proprietary addons in the directory puts other users at risk of inadvertently infringing their license or copyright. Even using a single line of code from a proprietary plugin can put you at risk. Worse, even looking at a proprietary addon "for ideas" can cause you to infringe their license by coding something similar. It really is that scary. The directory shouldn't be a minefield.
Does that mean I can't release a proprietary Vanilla addon now?
Absolutely not. We just ask you to not upload it to this site. You can link to a GitHub repo in a discussion, for instance. If you do share an addon in another way, please still include licensing information explicitly.
What about my proprietary addon that is already uploaded?
They are grandfathered under the old rules. Any updates will trigger the new rules. At some point, we may start cleaning out non-compatibly-licensed addons. We will not retroactively re-license a plugin without explicit permission from the author.
What if I wish to withdraw my addon from the directory?
Send a private message to @linc with deletion requests.
What licensing does Vanilla use?
We use the GNU GPL2 and MIT licenses. We use the former for most of our core product & addons, and the latter for separate framework-like projects (e.g. the new Garden project & Minion). The MIT license is extremely liberal. We recommend one of these two licenses if you aren't sure what to use.
What about the GNU GPL3?
GNU GPL3 will be an exception to the grandfather clause: you may continue updating GPL3 addons and keep it under the GPL3 if you wish. However, we strongly recommend changing the licensing to be GPL2-compatible, and ask that new addons not use it. It's complicated, but the short version is GPL3 code cannot be brought into GPL2 code so it turns into a headache really fast.
I have some other open source license I want to use, like Apache
Send a message to @linc outlining your rationale and we might allow it on a one-off basis. Really, I can't think of a valid reason for that besides a complicated business scenario, but I'm willing to talk about it.
Licensing sounds confusing
It really is. I'm happy to answer questions about licensing issues to the best of my ability. Note I am not a legal professional so please don't construe it as anything more than opinions and guidance for doing your own research.