There's thread on stackoverflow about this https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5524046/is-telerik-extensions-for-asp-net-mvc-free

It says that it is ok for internal site, but I think it is still not clear (also in faq notice about internal site usage is gone I think).

They say, as long as website is internal, you should be ok with open source license, but

1) Can I use it for site, that has closed community, I mean only logged in people will use telerik components?

2) Can I use only for site's administration part, that means that only internal staff will access it?

UPDATE: It looks like same question (same license type) - Using GPL libraries without modification on a commercial website, do I need to make my source code available?, but answers are completely different?

UPDATE2: I don't wish to in any way distribute site's code.

  • You might want to ask Telerik directly to make sure you're complying with their license.
    – Adam Lear
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:17
  • I've asked the question in their forums (telerik.com/community/forums/…), but their answer is ..., well not straightforward and I understand why (they need to make money from it), but I think it is unfair - you can skip things you don't find suitable in marketing stuff, but if asked directly - please answer directly too, now it looks like they don't know by them selves, can it be used in closed source project or not.
    – Giedrius
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 9:07
  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about support with a 3rd party product.
    – user53019
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 18:14

3 Answers 3


For most situations, AGPL is the only GPL license that requires releasing the source code of hosted web applications. Under vanilla GPLv2, if you're not distributing the modified and compiled binaries to end users you do not need to release the source code. You're not distributing the software, you're allowing remote access to it.


If you are developing open-sourced software you may use the free version. If you don't want to (or can't) then you will need a paid license.

  • Hm, but if I won't sell my site's source code/binaries, should I still make it open source to use free telerik version of components?
    – Giedrius
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 12:49
  • Any software that uses anything that is GPL be compatible with GPL. If you only want part of your app to be GPL then make that part run as a second application and release that subset as GPL. If this is an internal application to a company then this doesn't really matter because you only need to release the source internally. Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:30
  • If you want to use the GPL but don't want to GPL your software you should contact your lawyer. (At which point the Telerik license will probably cost less.) Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:32

From the telerik website

To support the Open Source community, we are providing the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC with the widely adopted GNU GPLv2 license. This option is appropriate for developers creating Open Source applications under a license compatible with GPLv2.

This means you can use it for free if and only if you are developing Opensource application. Or else you should always buy the commercial license.

For example NopCommerce uses the telerik controls for free since its an opensource application

  • So if I modify nopCommerce to suit my shop needs and don't release modifications source code, I must buy telerik license (because nopCommerce allows to modify source as long as you keep "powered by nopCommerce" visible)?
    – Giedrius
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:07
  • No, you don't need to buy the license if you are using NopCommerce if you stand by the conditions of NopCommerce Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:09
  • So if I make dummy web project using telerik components, make it open source and on top of it build my site and don't release final sources, everything is still legal?
    – Giedrius
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:11
  • hmm...right.... Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:27
  • @Giedrus: No. The GPL requires that you release the source code of your project if you decide to distribute it. Making a dummy project doesn't count. Consult the GPL reference, or hire a lawyer if you are not sure. Generally speaking, the GPL is not suitable for commercial, closed-source projects. If you want to distribute your project, but you don't want to release the source, you need to purchase a commercial license from Telerik. Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:56

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