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Open-source SugarCRM takes GPLv3 plunge

Application provider SugarCRM standardizes on General Public License version 3, predicting broader adoption among free and open-source software.

Update: this blog incorrectly represented Compiere's position on the GPLv3, which the company has not yet announced. That paragraph has been deleted.

SugarCRM intends to adopt the General Public License version 3 for a forthcoming update of its open-source applications.

Sugar Community Edition 5.0, scheduled to go into beta in a few weeks and be released in September of this year, will use GPLv3, the company said on Wednesday. Its current products use either the Mozilla Public License (MPL) or the very similar Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL), according to SugarCRM CEO John Roberts.

One of the advantages of the GPLv3 is it makes it easier for people to share code from different GPL-controlled open-source projects, Roberts said. At the same time, SugarCRM is able to offer customers of its Professional edition a typical commercial license, where people can see the product's source code but cannot distribute it, he added.

"My hope is that it becomes a global standard," Roberts said.

The company's decision to use the GPLv3 is an endorsement for the latest edition of the most commonly used open-source and free software license.

Finalized in late June, GPLv3 places tougher restrictions on software patents and a provision to prevent "patent protection" deals like the one between Microsoft and Novell. During its development, it drew criticisms from high-profile open-source participants, including developers of the Linux kernel.

But since its release, open-source projects have started to voice plans to adopt it.

Sun Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz has said he hopes GPLv3 can be Sun's unifying open-source software license, but so far the company hasn't released its two highest-profile open-source sofware projects, Java and OpenSolaris, under GPLv3.

Open-source database company MySQL has said it will wait to see how the license is received before deciding whether to move its open-source database of the same name from GPLv2 to GPLv3.

Some important projects are moving to GPLv3 with their next versions. Among them are Samba, used to share files over Windows networks, and the , a widely used programming tool, according to a project leader on the GCC .

--CNET's Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.