Licensing question: can you include open source components in commercial webapp?

I was looking into options for including jquery and a rich-text editor in a commercial webapp I’m working on, going through this list of popular ones:

I was looking at MCEditor and FCKeditor.

Can I include one of those in my commercial webapp without violating their respective open source license agreements? How about jQuery?

I keep the PHP code I’ve personally written in the webapp as closed source, but I’m perfectly fine with keeping open source components that I may include in the webapp as open source. Would that fulfill the licensing requirement? Is there anything else I would need to do?

Thanks :slight_smile:

You need to read the individual license agreement of each component you want to redistribute. “Open source” covers a huge variety of licenses with vastly different terms; some are compatible with a commercial license and some aren’t. You have to fulfill all the terms of whatever license is offered to you, otherwise your copying and distributing their code becomes copyright infringement.

TinyMCE is licensed under the LGPL. LGPL is somewhere in the middle. You’ll want to read the terms yourself, but essentially you can distribute TinyMCE with your code while using a different license for your code. This is allowed by this particular license when you are making use of the LGPL-licensed code but not making a derivative work of it. If you make any changes to TinyMCE, you must share those modifications. You must leave the copyright notice and license intact.


*CKEditor is available under four different licenses: a commercial license, GPL, LGPL or MPL.

If you have made changes to FCKEditor, don’t want to share those changes, don’t want to distribute an open source license along with yours, and don’t want to mention the CKEditor name, you can PURCHASE a commercial license and you won’t have to.

Otherwise, you can choose the LGPL or MPL and have similar licensing terms to TinyMCE.


JQuery is available under two licenses: GPL or MIT.

You don’t want to use the GPL license, as that would require you to distribute your own code under GPL, allowing its recipients to freely redistribute it.

The MIT license is very commercial-friendly. It basically allows you to do whatever you want with jQuery as long as when you distribute it (with your code), you keep its copyright notice intact.

ok, makes sense

Thanks :slight_smile: