Is SugarCRM open source?

Posted by Strop on Nov 6, 2006 5:10 PM EDT and; By Steffen
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It turns out that the world's premier web based commercial open source vendor, SugarCRM, has published their software under modified terms, which are not OSI approved, and will probably never be. Should they be de-listed from Sourceforge?

[Note to readers: LXer has not yet verified the claims made in this story. So read carefully and, as always, judge for yourself the merits of the author's claims. - dcparris]

One of the world's premier Commercial Open Source advocates have recently closed down their software, while still preaching the open source gospel. SugarCRM rose to glory during mid-2004, touting "Commercial Open Source".

Recently a decision was made to re-license SugarCRM under a modified Mozilla Public License, with the prime modification being a restriction on removing the "Powered by SugarCRM" icon on every page. The Sugar Public License is not OSI approved, and is most likely incompatible with open source philosophy, as you are not granted freedom to tinker with all aspects of the code.

However, SugarCRM is still listed on as an MPL licensed software, which would suggest that the version distributed through SourceForge is licensed under different terms than the code distributed through ( However, a download of version 4.5 reveals however, that the MPL has been replaced by the SPL. Should SugarCRM be removed from SourceForge? Are they dishonouring the open source philosophy and community?

Please comment on SugarCRM still preaching open source freedom, while sharing their code under a non-free license.

Here is Sugar's addition to the MPL:

SugarCRM Public License 1.1.3 - Exhibit B

Additional Terms applicable to the SugarCRM Public License.

I. Effect.
These additional terms described in this SugarCRM Public License - Additional Terms shall apply to the Covered Code under this License.

II. SugarCRM and logo.

This License does not grant any rights to use the trademarks "SugarCRM" and the "SugarCRM" logos even if such marks are included in the Original Code or Modifications.

However, in addition to the other notice obligations, all copies of the Covered Code in Executable and Source Code form distributed must, as a form of attribution of the original author, include on each user interface screen (i) the "Powered by SugarCRM" logo and (ii) the copyright notice in the same form as the latest version of the Covered Code distributed by SugarCRM, Inc. at the time of distribution of such copy. In addition, the "Powered by SugarCRM" logo must be visible to all users and be located at the very bottom center of each user interface screen. Notwithstanding the above, the dimensions of the "Powered By SugarCRM" logo must be at least 106 x 23 pixels. When users click on the "Powered by SugarCRM" logo it must direct them back to In addition, the copyright notice must remain visible to all users at all times at the bottom of the user interface screen. When users click on the copyright notice, it must direct them back to

The full SugarCRM Public License can be read here:

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
They failed to change the license reference Richard 3 1,280 Nov 7, 2006 11:45 AM
Not OSI-approved jezuch 3 1,305 Nov 7, 2006 8:31 AM

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