[ejabberd] License

Jack Moffitt jack at chesspark.com
Tue Sep 2 03:05:15 MSD 2008

> But if I did not distribute it and was just adding a plugin to an ejabberd
> server running on my own systems, would I have to give out the plugin code
> upon request?

No.  The GPLv2 (which is what ejabberd is licensed under) does not
have any kind of 'web services clause'.  This is why you see many
developers choosing licenses like the Affero GPL or GPLv3 now days.
While a future version of ejabberd might change licenses, you are free
to make proprietary modifications to the codebase without releasing
them as long as you do not distribute the end result.

As a side note, the definition of "linking" in the GPL is one of the
major argument points, and I think that argument is complicated in a
language like Erlang.  Since Erlang processes share no state and
communicate by message passing, it's possible a person could make a
legal argument that no ejabberd plugin is "linked" into the rest of
the server.  I hope that no one tries this argument.

While you have no obligation to dstribute your changes or source
unless you distribute the rest of the code, I do hope you will
consider giving back to the community.  Projects like ejabberd thrive
based on participation of the users, be they individuals or


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