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[EP-tech] Is EPrints 3.4 and beyond open source software?



From: Denis Pitzalis <denis.pitzalis at gmail.com>
Sent: 29 June 2017 08:15:51
>
> Thank you Tomasz for bringing this up.
Personally I'm worried too.
> We just launched a 3.3.15 based product and one of the main reasons for choosing EPrints instead of some commercial package was its open source licence and support for the open access effort.
> I am also worried because, in the case of a change like this, I would personally stop contributing to EPrints, and I think that many others will simply do the same.
>
> Thanks,
> Denis

I have two responses:

First: if 3.4 is built on code from 3.3 then that code inherits the GPL taint; so at least those parts of 3.4 are required to be open source. Any green field code, though, can be licensed however they wish. (This can get very murky, and I hope it never comes up as a real issue.)

Second: there is a tradition in open source communities, when the parent organisation's vision deviates from (a subset of) the community's: fork. So if eprints services ever heads down a direction we don't agree with*, we're within our rights to take a fork of the code and rebrand it, and set up our own bazaar, hosting & support, etc. etc. depending on how hard we want to fork, how much we can afford, etc.

*I'm not saying they have, nor that they ever will; just that one of the benefits of open source is that this option remains available to us.

So, has everyone got their torches and pitchforks ready? ;)

Cheers
-- 
Matthew Kerwin  |  Senior Web Developer  |  ITS-EIS AS  |  QUT