The Joomla Web CMS project -- as many of you well know -- is based on the GNU General Public License (GPL). This means, among other things, that the Joomla project generally has an ethos of encouraging collaboration, community and free software.

The Joomla team confirmed in 2007 that both Joomla v1.0 and v1.5 were released under the GPL license. Now, the Joomla folks have taken things one step further.

Want to be Listed? Must be GPL

As of midnight July 1, 2009 all extensions featured on the Joomla Extensions Directory (JED), will need to be licensed under the GNU GPL. The JED features over 4500 extensions as we speak, both commercial and non-commercial.

Since March this year, only Joomla extensions licensed under the GNU GPL have been accepted into the JED. Now, every extension that does not comply with the license will be unlisted in the directory.

Want to be Listed? Must not be Encryped

The same goes for all encrypted or encoded extensions, regardless of their license. This move will be welcomed by those who have been frustrated by extensions they have been thus far unable to modify -- encrypted or encoded extensions are effectively static as delivered. This is something which has been seen as contrary to the open source mission of collaboration and freedom and has been a source of some tension in the Joomla community.

Joomla Team is Not Anti-Business

The Joomla! team says this:

Third party developers are a valued part of our community and in order to make this transition as easy as possible for them we selected a long notification period. This change is designed to strengthen the project's active commitment to its core mission, vision and values as articulated in September 2008.

Many previously proprietary and partially closed-source developers of commercial extensions have joined with us in the JED and released their Joomla extensions with the GPL license. We are confident in keeping the vast majority of popular commercial extensions in the JED due to the developers' willingness to work with our team.

Moving in the Right Direction?

Personally speaking, I see this as an important step towards an even better and more powerful open source community, and as a good thing which will lead to an even broader acceptance of Joomla as a valuable and dynamic project in the sector.

What do you think?