The Open edX code works under AGPL, a type of license that prominent open-source advocates like Scott Wilson, Service Manager at OSS Watch, or Dr. Charles R. Severance have loudly criticized.
“With a large system like Open edX, one license doesn’t fit all purposes, which is why we’ve decided to relicense one part, our XBlock API, under Apache 2.0.,” has announced Ned Batchelder, edX Software Architect.
With this mixed licensing strategy, the goal of edX is to encourage developers to code new XBlocks –that is, interactive components to be used as an extension of courses– and get a massive adoption. Ultimately, the aim is to convert XBlock in the standard extension module beating the LTI technology –mostly used in other LMS such as Canvas, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Sakai and Blackboard.
“The Apache 2.0 license is permissive: it lets adopters and extenders do what they want with their changes. They can release them under a copyleft license like AGPL, or a permissive license like Apache, or even keep them closed-source,” explains Mr. Batchelder.