[RoundCube Announce] Roundcube Licensing Update
thomas at roundcube.net
Wed Dec 28 12:00:45 CET 2011
As of January 2012 Roundcube will be licensed under the GNU General
Public License (GPL) Version 3 or later (with exceptions for skins &
plugins) while it was licensed under GPL (v2) before that change.
Actually the license situation wasn't absolutely clear before because
some parts of the Roundcube code didn't specify a version number of
the GPL while others did. Those parts not specifying a version number
could, according to the GPL license text, be considered as either
version 2 or any later version.
*Clarification and Preparation for the Future*
Because of the incorporated numerous other components, the only
options for licenses are in the GNU GPL family, namely GNU GPLv2, GNU
GPLv3, GNU AGPLv3.
In order to become license compatible with some of the newer
technologies we would like to be able to use and to be well prepared
for future development and integration we decided to officially change
to GNU GPL "version 3 or any later version".
Together with the change to GPLv3+ we also added the following
exception to the Roundcube license agreement which explicitly excludes
skins & plugins from the terms of the GPL:
" This file forms part of the Roundcube Webmail Software for which the
following exception is added: Plug-ins and Skins which merely make
function calls to the Roundcube Webmail Software, and for that purpose
include it by reference shall not be considered modifications of the
If you wish to use this file in another project or create a modified
version that will not be part of the Roundcube Webmail Software, you
may remove the exception above and use this source code under the
original version of the license. "
This shall give a maximum flexibility to skin designers and plugin
developers to choose any other license for their work or even to
create commercial or proprietary components without being forced to
publish them according to the strong copy-left requirements of the
The original proposal and the following discussion about this license
clarification can be read in our mailing list archive:
*Request for Agreement*
Because the copyright in Roundcube is not consolidated, making these
updates requires the agreement of all contributors to Roundcube.
So if you have in the past contributed to Roundcube, we would very
much like to ask for your explicit agreement with this path forward.
We believe this primarily represents a clarification and an adjustment
to what we practiced over the past years.
But of course we cannot force anyone to agree, so for those who do not
agree to this license update we still offer the choice to have their
code removed from Roundcube.
Please contact us in case you have serious objections against the
GPLv3+ with exceptions for skins & plugins and you want your
contributed code to be removed.
Thanks for all your support, we're looking into an exciting future of
Roundcube in the year 2012.
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