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Conflicting statements about license

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 117

18 February 2010, 8:39 PM

I just noticed that on's "About Open Source" page ( it says the following:

What rights do you get?

In brief, open source means that you are allowed to copy, use and modify Mahara
provided you agree to:

  • provide the source code to others;
  • not modify or remove the original license and copyrights, and
  • apply this same license to any derivative work.

However, with a GNU GPL license, developers are NOT required to release modified code. From the GNU web site (

"The GPL does not require you to release your modified version, or any part of it. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization."

Does the new version of Mahara use a different license or is the "About Open Source" page a little off on the statement that developers have to "provide the source code to others"?


François Marier's profile picture
Posts: 411

18 February 2010, 10:18 PM

Hi Stephen,

 Mahara uses the normal GPL and private modifications are OK (though obviously we prefer that you send us patches!).

I'll try to rephrase this so that it's less confusing and closer to what the license allows.



François Marier's profile picture
Posts: 411

18 February 2010, 11:09 PM

I have changed the first bullet point to:

  •  include the source code when distributing Mahara to others;

and I have added a link to the GPL in the first paragraph.

 Thanks for letting us know about this inconsistency Stephen.



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