OpenProj and the Common Public Attribution License

On August 20th, Projity have released OpenProj which is a Java based project management software (like Microsoft Project). With the release they made a .deb file available for download, which caught my attention.

I checked the deb file, and while it probably does the work of installing the application, it’s far from being a valid Debian package. I contacted the company though the package maintainer (Laurent Chretienneau) to suggest they would invest time to make their software an official part of Debian, and I’m willing to help if needed. Laurent said they would be happy for OpenProj to be officially a part of Debian.

Today, I decided it would be smart to open an ITP for the package, so other people won’t spend time doing the same packaging work as the company already did. For the ITP license field I had to check the license of the software. While it’s webpage states: ” OpenProj is a free, open source project management solution” I thought that would be a no brainer, but it seems they use the Common Public Attribution License, a recently OSI approved license.

Of course the license should go though the usual debian-legal review, but I guess it would be non free due to some attribution requirements and limitations.

I was disappointed to find that OpenProj isn’t licensed under the GPL or other common free software (and DFSG compliant) license. I’m still not sure if I want to invest time of they software due to this issue, I guess I’ll give it much lower priority now.


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Free software licenses

8 responses to “OpenProj and the Common Public Attribution License

  1. sl

    I wonder – what about GanttProject? why doesn’t it have a package for Debian? is it also due to licensing issues ?

  2. liorkaplan

    GanttProject has a Request for Package (or RFP) bug at

    Maybe someone will decide to package it. You’ll welcome to express you interest in the package though replying in to the bug report.

  3. Pingback: Open Source mobile edition

  4. Josh

    I don’t get the problem ? It would be great to have a Linux package at the level of Microsoft Project. I use OpenProj and opened my existing native Microsoft Project files and just kept working. It took me less than 3 minutes from download to usage. The OSI approved their license which allows for attribution just like the new GPLv3 allows for attribution. Eben Moglen complemented SugarCRM for releasing under the GPLv3 and requiring attribution. Please reconsider OpenProj for Debian. Who can we contact to get this addressed ? Microsoft Project is part of the Office family and on 6%-7% of all desktops. My company would never adopt more Linux without easy to deploy productivity solutions. Once again, please reconsider!!!!!!!

    Here is a recent article:

    The About page let me wonder about a possible attribution loophole in the GPLv3.

    New lightA new light by MumbleyJoe

    Some licensing background first. Here an excerpt from the About page of the Sugar Community Edition 5.0:

    The interactive user interfaces in modified source and object code versions of this program must display Appropriate Legal Notices, as required under Section 5 of the GNU General Public License version 3.

    In accordance with Section 7(b) of the GNU General Public License version 3, these Appropriate Legal Notices must retain the display of the “Powered by SugarCRM” logo. If the display of the logo is not reasonably feasible for technical reasons, the Appropriate Legal Notices must display the words “Powered by SugarCRM”.

    Surprisingly it looks almost like the previous version of the about page (courtesy of Koder search engine):

    All copies of the Covered Code must include on each user interface screen:
    (i) the “Powered by SugarCRM” logo and
    (ii) the SugarCRM copyright notice
    in the same form as they appear in the distribution.See full license for requirements.

    I am not a lawyer, but f I got it right, Section 7 of the GNU GPL version 3 permits modifications to the license for certain terms. Section 7 (b) asserts that for material you add to a covered work, you may supplement the terms of this License with terms:

    b) Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal Notices displayed by works containing it;

    Section 7 became a viable tool to reintroduce somehow the attribution addendum contained in the SugarCRM Public license (Exhibit A).

    The question is: is requiring a logo a reasonable author attribution? I presume this is the case, at least in Eben Moglen’s opinion. Moglen in his “SugarCRM’s Sweet Taste of Freedom” stated that SugarCRM is to be applauded, and I believe he knew already what I just found myself.

    Badgeware is not only OSI approved, but it is also endorsed by the Free Software Foundation now, with its flagship license. The debate is over.

    Back to my analysis about SugarCRM’s licensing strategy, it is now clear that SugarCRM and SugarCRM’s VCs do still care a lot about brand protection. Their unique selling points are really strong, but as a matter of fact they found a way to accomplish both goals: branding and the adoption of a much more compatible license.

    Kudos to SugarCRM’s lawyers to sort it out.

    Technorati Tags: oss, open business, commercial open source, sugarCRM, GPL, FSF, OSI

  5. Yes, but you can see it was already closed due to inactivity…

  6. Olivier Berger

    I have filed a new RFP, FYI, then.

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