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1. How is Algorand licensed?
Algorand provides SDKs, example applications, and helper libraries under the
permissive MIT license. You can do almost anything you want with this code,
including changing it and embedding it in your proprietary application,
provided you meet the notice requirements set forth in the license.
Algorand's node software is released under the Affero General Public License,
version 3, or "AGPL." The AGPL is a free and open source software license
designed to promote cooperative development of software that is used in a
client-server or peer-to-peer context.
2. What do these licenses mean to someone building on the Algorand blockchain?
If you are using our example applications, interfacing with the Algorand
blockchain through our SDKs, or running an unmodified Algorand node, Algorand's
licensing should not affect your code at all. There is no need to license your
code in any particular way to build on the Algorand blockchain in this manner.
If you modify the Algorand node software (for example, creating a new
blockchain), reimplement the APIs (not interfacing through the SDKs), use
Algorand's consensus mechanism in other software, or otherwise create a new
work based on any Algorand materials licensed under the AGPL, your software
will be automatically licensed under the AGPL and needs to be made available
to everyone who is a recipient of your new or modified software or interacts
with it remotely over a network.
3. What does it mean to "make my code available" under the AGPL license?
It is your responsibility to make sure that your users know that the source
code is available. You need to prominently include a "download source" button
or link on your website, such as where programs are downloaded, and in the user
interface of any software that interacts with your modified code. The "download
source" button must allow anyone to directly download the exact source code and
applicable cryptographic keys needed to install or use the modified AGPL
software. You cannot remove the "download source" button or link.
5. What if I don't want to license my source code under the AGPL?
If you have written an application that needs to be released under the AGPL and
you would prefer different licensing terms, Algorand offers commercial
licensing options. For more information, contact us at licensing@algorand.com.
6. What about patents?
While Algorand and the Algorand consensus protocol are protected by patent
rights, anyone using our code under the MIT, AGPL or a commercial license from
us has a patent license. Algorand believes that under current IP laws, the
safest way to confer patent rights is under established open source licensing.
Re-implementations of the Algorand consensus protocol or other Algorand
technology protected by patent rights require a separate patent license unless
they use Algorand source code. Commercial and non-commercial (for example,
non-profit or academic) licenses are available. For more information, contact
us at patents@algorand.com.
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