Hello, I'm still confused with license issues, can I get some help?


  • Hello, I'm looking for a forum opensource for my client's website and came across NodeBB. I had a look at information about the license of GPLv3
    but I'm not really sure what exactly I should be careful with the license of GPLv3.
    so I can use it for commercial use, but it says I have to disclose source and it requires license and copyright notice.
    what exactly disclose source and license and copyright notice means here?
    does it mean when I make a website with NodeBB, I have to disclose the code to the client and put license notice in the footer or any other sections of the website?
    The question may sound silly but I'm very confused.

  • Global Moderator

    Not a lawyer. Not legal advice.

    If you make improvements or other modifications to NodeBB core (that is, any code in the main GitHub.com/NodeBB/nodebb repository) you must make it available to the public.

    If you just use NodeBB and add plugins and stuff, you probably have nothing to worry about.

  • Plugin & Theme Dev Community Rep

    Just a correction (still not a legal advice 🙂 ) - GPLv3 doesn't require you to release the source if you're only running the modified version and not distributing it. I think it was called "ASP loophole" and was "fixed" in AGPL. NodeBB isn't using AGPL, but GPLv3, so the "loophole" remains.

    However in this case if you were modifying core NodeBB and selling that to the client you'd probably need to release your modifications publicly under the same license.

    But if you're just running the core NodeBB and modifying it with plugins, themes, etc. you don't need to do any of that. You haven't made any modification to the software, just used some software that's using its APIs. It's covered under "Basic Permissions" in GPLv3 with the most relevant part being:

    This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission to run the unmodified Program.


  • @PitaJ @oplik0 Thank you for your reply! it helped a lot 🙂

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