I am using ownCloud - which is AGPL license - and only create few custom modules, and a theme, the core is not touched at all so:

  1. should I allow download source for the whole app ( owncloud and my modules/theme ) ? ( as it is agpl based )
  2. or should I only provide link to download owncloud code ( the original code ) ?
  3. Or don't have to allow download at all ( optional )?

Considering that, I am building a commercial app, where users will pay for the service? Please advice,


The AGPL license is a variant of the GPL license with a broader view on distribution of the software. The main difference between GPL and AGPL is that the latter also considers accessing an application remotely as distributing it.

The core precepts of the GPL (and AGPL) are

  • If you distribute an application, you must also distribute the source code
  • Even if only part of the application is copyrighted under (A)GPL, the first point applies to every part of the application.

This means that, if your modules interact with ownCloud or otherwise form a single 'application' with it, then you must release your modules under the AGPL license as well (or a license that gives them at least as much rights on the source code) and you must provide access to the sources of your modules.

It might be possible to create a successful commercial app based on it, but you won't be able to compete on features. So, you will need other attractors for subscriptions, such as superior content, customer service, etc. Whether that is achievable can only you decide.

  • The modules are built as ownCloud modules that runs by ownCloud core, and then it will form a single application, right ? and then AGPL apply for the whole application, and then we should provide download link ? right? – user136685 Jun 16 '14 at 12:00
  • @user136685: Yes, both right. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jun 16 '14 at 12:21

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