The OpenVPMS License

A pdf version of the full license can be found here.


The OpenVPMS License is structured to meet three specific goals :

  1. Generate recurrent income to repay seed funding for the initial development work and to support future development and management of the project.
  2. Adhere to as many of the Open Source Definitions as definied by the Open Source Initiative without compromising goal 1.
  3. Promote community development of its projects and discourage forking.


In order to acheive the first goal OpenVPMS has implemented a fair subscription model aimed at veterinary practices that utilise any original or derived OpenVPMS source or object code. Yearly subscription fees are payable by these orgranisations independent of how these works are delivered to them. This essentailly means that whether the software that contains any component of the licensed OpenVPMS source or object code is installed locally or delivered via an alternative means such as through an Application Service Provider the onus is on the Veterinary Practice end-user to pay the subscription fees due to OpenVPMS.

Adherence to the Open Source Definition

The following summarises our understanding of the open source definition and how it pertains to the OpenVPMS license.

1. Free Distribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale

The license does adhere to this definition in that anyone can sell or give away the software and we do not require a royalty or other fee. The only stipulation is the OpenVPMS license is preserved across these transactions and subscriptions are paid by any Veterinary Pratcice who in the end utilises the software.

2. Source Code
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost?preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.

Full Adherence.

3. Derived Works
The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

Full Adherence

4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.

We allow redistribution of the source code in modified form as along as the modifications are clearly documented and teh author of the modifications takes full responsibility for them.

5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

Full Adherence

6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

Although the OpenVPMS software was specifically designed for Veterinary Practice use there are no clauses in the license that restrict use to this industry only.

7. Distribution of License
The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.

Full Adherence

8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.

Full adherence

9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software
The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.

Full adherence

10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

Full Adherence

Promotion of Community Development
The aim of this goal is to promote open source publishing of any modifications or new features created by third parties to any of the OpenVPMS open source projects so they can of benefit to the whole community. What we call community code.

On the other hand we do not want to restrict organisations from creating proprietary applications that utilise the code the community has developed.

The Apache license approach would have just encouraged participation but not insisted on it. The GPL copy left approach insists on it but has ramifications for organisations that want to utilise the code in other, propietary applications. The LGPL approach is probably the closest to what we are trying to acheive but has other legal ramifications given it's GPL roots.

On this basis the OpenVPMS license stipulates sharing of any source code modifications to any of it's projects but allows proprietary applications to utilise a library form of its open source software without the need to publish any proprietary software. We believe this is a good compromise but always welcome comments.

Open Source Components utilised by OpenVPMS Software

Library Version License Notes
acegisecurity 1.0.0 Apache License 2.0
antlr 2.7.5H3 BSD
aopalliance 1.0 Apache
c3p0 0.9.0 LGPL
castor 1.0M2 Exolab
cglib 2.1.2 Apache
Commons-lang 2.0 Apache
commons-logging 1.0.4 Apache
commons-dbcp 1.2.1 Apache
commons-resources 1.0-dev Apache
commons-pool 1.2 Apache
commons-io 1.2 Apache
commons-collections 3.1 Apache
commons-jxpath 1.3 Apache
commons-beanutils 1.7.0 Apache
dom4j 1.4 BSD
drools 2.1 BSD
easymock 2.0 MIT License
echo2 2.1.0beta3 Mozilla Public
echo-extras 0.2.1 Mozilla Public
echopoint 2.1.0 LGPL
ehcache 1.1 Apache License 2.0
hibernate 3.1b3 LGPL
jaxen 1.1-beta6 Jaxen License 1.3
jsap 2.0a LGPL
jta 1.0.1 LGPL
jtestcase 3.0.0 Common Public License
jug 2.0rc4 Apache
janino 2.3.8 Janino License
jdom 1.0 JDOM License
junit 3.8.1 Commons Public License 1.0
log4j 1.2.11 Apache
log4unit 0.2.0 LGPL
mysql-connector-java 5.0.0-beta-bin GPL (FLOSS Exception)
ognl 2.6.5 Apache
oro 2.0.8 Apache
odmg 3.0 ODMG
servletapi 2.5 Apache
stax 1.0 undefined
springframework 1.2.5 Apache License 2.0
springmodules 0.2 Apache License 2.0
xstream 1.1.2 BSD
xpp3 1.1.2a Indiana University Extreme Lab Software License
xerces 2.4.0 Apache
xml-apis 2.0.2 Apache