There was a great discussion on Open Source vs Commercialization debate at the conference, specifically on extensions to ERPNext that are non-open.
ERPNext code is licensed as GNU GPL V3 which is a “copy left” license that applies to all derivative works. Broadly the license grants the freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute to any user.
In the context of ERPNext community, most of the code is donated free by Frappe (and its customers and partners) and contributors who fund the project directly or indirectly. But there are many people in the ecosystem who have built useful extensions on ERPNext that are also useful to the community, but not shared.
This leads to a lot of conflict within those who chose to contribute back useful things and those who don’t and yet benefit from the contributors.
To resolve this, at the conference most in the community have agreed this code of conduct / honour code. This specifically applies to those who commercialize ERPNext:
- If the extension to ERPNext is for end use / single use and not redistributed to more than one user, then it is not required to share the source with the community.
- If the extension is generic and is used by more than one customer, then the code must be made available to the community on GitHub / alternatives with adequate documentation.
These rules may or may not be compliant with GPL and people are independently liable to comply to GPL, but these are the rules that will apply within this community. That includes, ERPNext events, chapters, conference, and this forum.
To put it in context, if you are sharing screenshots, marketing something or asking questions on the forum regarding something that is generic and redistributed to more than one customer, you must share the source and docs on the forum.
This will also help you comply with the copyleft license and protect the freedom of your customers. For this community, this will also create a more “contributing” community, compared to many other communities that are over commercialized.