Excuse my ignorance in law and licensing, I have an inquiry regarding Odoo Community Edition that's licensed under LGPLv3, I am planning to develop some addons for it to be suitable for a specific market on top of the Odoo Community Edition, and sell it as a SaaS solution, the customer will have no access to the servers or code, only the software as a service with a monthly subscription, is this break the license terms for Odoo Community ? https://www.odoo.com/documentation/16.0/legal/licenses.html


1 Answer 1


As long as an (L)GPL-based program does not leave the server, its sourcecode doesn't need to be conveyed to anyone.

That's commonly referred to as the "server-sided loophole" in the (L)GPL. There is a license that was designed specifically to address this concern: The Affero General Public License (AGPL). It's basically the GPL, but with the additional clause that the software with its sourcecode must also be licensed to "all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network". This is actually the license Odoo was distributed under until Version 8. But from version 9 they moved to the LGPL which does not contain this clause.

It appears that what you want to do is exactly what was intended by Odoo S.A. when they switched from AGPL to LGPL. More information on this article on their website:

Contributors would need to give a lot to enrich the Odoo offering, while getting little in return under the current licensing, as they are not system integrators (and as such do not benefit from fees on services), and under current terms cannot sell modules with the required legal security. Therefore, we will progressively move Odoo from an AGPL license to a LGPLv3 license.


In summary, the benefits are as follows:

  • We can open up a true ‘App store’ to the benefit of both customers and publishers willing to invest in fully packaged, ready-to-use apps as long as they get some financial compensation. This is key for our CMS & Ecommerce but will benefit other apps too.

  • End users will be able to use standard proprietary modules published by large companies that are key for their business (e.g. UPS/Fedex connectors for ecommerce shipping).

  • The license remains ‘Copyleft’ which means we retain solid protection provided by those types of licences.

  • Customers using the CMS do not need to fear having to release the whole source code of their Odoo implementation to every website visitor.

  • The license is compatible with AGPL v3 which means that modules under this licence will continue to be usable with Odoo. We however advise current owners to migrate to LGPLv3 too.

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