This article provides information about eXist-db's legal status.
eXist-db is an open source software product that is published under the L-GPL Open Source license. A trademark has been registered for the name and the logo.
The source code of eXist-db is 'open', which means anyone has access to the full source code. The source code is stored on a publicly accessible server so anyone can download and learn from it. Because it is open, everyone can use the work and, in the spirit of Open Source community, contribute to the code by, for example, reviewing it, providing bug-fixes, or adding new features.
The software is developed with the intention to be 'open' and stay 'open' for anyone in the community of users. To guarantee this 'open-ness' there are some rules for using the code.
eXist-db is released under the very liberal L-GPL license. In short this means that the software (as is) can be used without restrictions in any other software: Open Source software, propriety software, commercial or non-commercial.
To guarantee the 'open' nature of eXist-db, the L-GPL license defines a few conditions for those cases where the original code is modified and (re-)distributed: The modified code must be released under the conditions as defined in the L-GPL license.
In the spirit of the open source community, it is encouraged to share any modified code within the eXist-db community. The community and the author of the modified code will benefit from sharing the modifications. The code will be maintained and reviewed by the eXist-db community.
Note that the L-GPL license only applies for the eXist-db code and distributed binaries, not for applications and plugins that are developed by eXist-db users.
The eXist-db code has dependencies on a number of carefully selected third-party libraries (not specifically developed as part of eXist-db). All of these libraries are also released under an open source license, a copy of which is included in the eXist-db distribution. These licenses have been carefully checked so the libraries can be used together with eXist-db.
Some parts of the eXist-db code are published under even more liberal licenses. These licenses are legally compatible with the eXist-db license.
The eXist-db name and logo have been registered as a trademark in order to keep both available for the eXist-db software and community. The logo and trademark may be freely used for promotional purposes in the context of open source or non-profit applications and services.
Please contact info_at_exist-db.org if you want to use the name and/or logo in your own works, e.g. as part of a software distribution or in a publication.
A high resolution version of the logo is available on request.