Why is Imixs Workflow distributed under GPL?

Since the early beginning of the Imixs Workflow project all results are subject to the general public license (GPL). This license grants the broadest freedoms for users. There are many software systems available with this license. The most popular is the operating system Linux or the database server MySQL. So we are all using this kind of software license. Remember, you can not go into the Internet without the help of Linux.

But when you take a closer look on the smaller parts of software systems – the frameworks – a lot of these frameworks are subject to a lesser general public license like the LGPL, the Apache or Eclipse license. The argument of the software vendors behind those software license is to encourage widespread usage and adoption. But this means also to enable adopters to restrict the usage of there software build on thus a framework. This all is common practice and I think there is no need to discuss the pros and cons. So why is Imixs Workflow distributed under GPL?

The idea behind the Imixs Workflow project is to provide organizations, companies and users with a flexible software solution, to manage their business processes. Business processes are subject to constant change. And a workflow management system must provide the opportunity to follow this change. Therefore, we think that the user of Imixs Workflow must be able to adapt their software solution to meet their own needs.
From this point of view there no reason to restrict the usage of the software in any way. And as the objective group of Imixs Workflow is the final user rather than the software developer we believe that the GPL is a better solution to achieve this goal.
We do not want to discourage ISVs to use the Imixs Workflow for there own software project. Every person including software developers are free to use the Imixs Workflow for there own project. But remember that it is your commitment to pass that freedom also to other users.