Which license for additional nodes/plugins?

The terms of Aladdin Free Public License are quite unusual for me, so I am wondering which is the correct license for extensions, such as additional nodes, developed by me.

If the node uses only public APIs as specified in the documentation, is a MIT/BSD/Apache license suitable?

The idea of our license model is that it is free as long as you provide your nodes for free. If you start earning money by commercially distributing KNIME with or without your additions, you will need a different license. Thus, which license applies to your node developments depends on how you distribute them. If they are also distributed under the Aladdin Free Public License then you can use it as is. If you want to commercially distribute your nodes, i.e. sell them, then the Aladdin License is not appropriate anymore and you will need a different license from us.

Are you suggesting to use Aladdin license or you are thinking that nodes are derivative works and then must be released under Aladdin Free Public License?

Let me explain my doubts: suppose I developed a node as a collateral result of other activities; I would be happy to share it with the community but I dont want to support it anymore.

If I choose Aladdin license and you (the KNIME Licensor) found my node interesting, you cannot integrate the node in the KNIME offical distribution because any commercial use of KNIME will involve me too.

If I can opt for a permissive license like BSD/MIT/MPL (not a viral one like GPL) you can freely use my component in the future, even for commercial uses.

If you wanted to put fully functional node (not just a wrapper to some commerical software - sorry for being just a bit paranoid :wink: under a Eclipse-like license that’s perfectly fine with us. It would enable us to really integrate this with the KNIME core without the fear of infecting our own license model. Otherwise you can simply keep the node as an external contribution, independent of the KNIME core. We will soon offer a way to host such nodes on the KNIME website as well, btw.

Cheers, Michael

I have a bit similar question so I’ve decided to post it here. We are planning on development of semantic document management system, and currently are looking for the workflow engine to embed within our system. The point is that although we plan to release our product (i.e. our own code and all our modifications to Knime and other components’ sources) under EPL-like license, we do not want to restrict our system from 3rd party commercial processing services (normally executed on provider side, but they will be called from the workflow engine). So I would like to know whether such integration complies with AFPL.


Hi Gregory,

EPL (or similar licenses) are a lot more flexible than either AFPL or GPL. Embedding KNIME into
such an environment won’t work. This is not because we don’t want KNIME embedded in
other open developments but we do not want KNIME to show up in commercial, proprietary
products which would be possible under EPL. Eclipse and the likes have lots of high profile
backup who put money into the development (not without politicial reason, IMHO), KNIME
does not have that… (yet :slight_smile:

We are considering to switch from AFPL to GPL in order to avoid lenghtly licensing discussions
in the future (I personally like the idea behind AFPL better than GPL) but that would also not
allow the embedding under EPL that you mention above.