Significance for Developers and Customers

The Affero General Public License v3 is a derivative of the GPLv3 and grants anyone the non-exclusive right to use the software. As of Shopware 4.0, the software is free (open source) and may be copied, circulated or adapted to meet individual needs. The AGPLv3 contains a copyleft clause, which means all modified versions of the software must also be licensed under AGPLv3. Developers are free to access the source code and may redistribute a modified form of the software in accordance with these license terms. Customers may use Shopware without a license fee, but must meet the license obligations of AGPLv3. Access to the source code ensures the sustainability of the Community Edition and that all necessary adjustments are in line with AGPLv3.

Templates Modifications

Portions of the standard template of the Shopware CE are made available under the new BSD license. This allows individuals to develop their own frontend templates, since a block system inherits portions of the standard template. This makes it possible to adapt the template to meet individual needs. It is important to take note this does not apply for Shopware’s backend templates. These are licensed under AGPLv3; therefore any customized versions of the standard backend templated much be relicensed under AGPLv3.


We want to give developers the freedom to create plugins for diverse business models without license requirements. For this reason, we allow an exception to the license terms of AGPLv3 for self-written plugins. These plugins have separate license terms – even when the plugin is derived from the class "Shopware_Components_Plugin_Bootstrap" – and do not have to be approved as open source software. For this purpose, the AGPLv3 license text contains the following add-on: Additional permission under AGPLv3, Sec. 7 If you modify this Program, or any covered work, by combining it with Plugins entirely written by you, the licensors of this Program grant you additional permission to convey those Plugins under terms of your choice, provided that those terms do not place additional restrictions on the Program.

Core Modifications

Modifications and extensions of the source code, that have no effect on the frontend template or plugin system, are considered modifications of the AGPLv3 license. These must be licensed under AGPLv3. The same applies for override classes.

Changes to the Shopware CE must be licensed under AGPLv3 when they are used by third parties or offered in the Shopware Community Store. Any propagated copies of the modified Shopware version are considered “conveyed” work, and therefore must be made available following paragraphs 4 & 5 of the AGPLv3. The mere operation of an online shop means that the software is being used. This is referred to in paragraph 13 of the AGPLv3 as “interacting with it remotely through a computer network” and therefore requires a release of changes.

Publication of Changes

Paragraphs 5 & 6 of the AGPLv3 specify license obligations when Shopware CE is changed. Changes must be identified and provided with a date. It’s best to provide this information as a header in the source code, i.e.: * 31.07.2012: install method changed, © 2012 Max Muster * This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify * it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as * published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the * License, or (at your option) any later version. * / The complete amended source code must be made available and readable by machines. The AGPLv3 allows several variants. If the course code is only used or distributed online, the easiest way is to directly supply the code with the source information. Should the source code be hosted on a different server, there should be a download link placed in close proximity to ensure the object code can be easily accessible. The details can be found in the AGPLv3 license conditions.

Differences between the GPL and AGPLv3

The GNU General Public License, version 3 (GPLv3) contains a weaker copyleft agreement than the AGPLv3. Under the GNUv3 license, modifications to the software only have to be relicensed in conventional cases of software distribution, which does not include SaaS or cloud services (i.e. when the software runs on a server). We wanted to be sure that all changes to the source code were made available, therefore opted for the AGPLv3 license. According to paragraph 13 of AGPLv3, those who use a modified version of the Community Edition must make changes to the source code available. Apart from that, the GPLv3 and AGPLv3 have only minor differences.

Trademark Law

No. “Shopware” is a registered trademark of shopware AG. Therefore no variations of the name (i.e. “MyShopware”) may be used. Our customers should be able to easily identify which Shopware versions come from us. This not only applies to the name under which a modified version is distributed, but also for all names within the software. However, modified versions of the Community Edition may be used under a different name.

Support for Open Source Plugins / Templates

No. If you offer your plugins or templates under open source licenses, you are are not obligated to provide support. However, if plugins or templates are commercially sold, support is generally required due to laws regarding sales warranties.

Compatibility of AGPLv3

AGPLv3 is compatible with the following licenses: GPLv3, GPLv2 (or any later version), LGPLv3, LGPLv2.1 (or any later version), BSD license (2-clause and 3-clause), MIT license and Apache License 2.0. “Compatible” means that code used under these other licenses may be licensed with the Shopware Community Edition under AGPLv3.

Implementation in your Software Environment

Implementation is only possible if the other open source license is compatible with AGPLv3. When compatible, it is permitted to use the modified Shopware version under AGPLv3. This is to ensure that additional license obligations (not already included in the AGPLv3 – see paragraph 7) are listed separately in the source file. Additionally, the license text of the implemented code must be listed separately, along with the program from which the code originates.

Was this article helpful?