I'm looking forward to building an online store and nopCommerce seems like the right way to go. I would like to make my own theme and extend the code to handle some requirements specific to my store's domain.

nopCommerce is released under a variation of GPL-3.0 license and as I understand it, all code linked with GPL 3.0 source code must be disclosed under a GPL 3.0 compatible license.

My questions is: Do I have to make the source code of my store available to everyone? And by "code of my store" I mean, custom themes, pages and code that handles specific domain requirements.

1 Answer 1


Since nopCommerce is a hosted application under the GNU GPL, accessing the software over the network does not mean the user has received the software. The GPL applies when you convey your software and someone receives it. Specifically, the license says:

To “convey” a work means any kind of propagation that enables other parties to make or receive copies. Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying.

You would have to license your changes and extensions under the GPL, but you would not need to distribute your source code to users. If you distributed your binaries or source, however, recipients would get it under the GPL.

The AGPL was created to close this "loophole" in the GPL.

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