When creating a custom design package for a client I often find myself copying a template from either base/default or rwd/default and modifying this template to the client's needs.

The license used is the Academic Free License (AFL 3.0) (http://opensource.org/licenses/afl-3.0.php)

This states the following:

6) Attribution Rights. You must retain, in the Source Code of any Derivative Works that You create, all copyright, patent, or trademark notices from the Source Code of the Original Work, as well as any notices of licensing and any descriptive text identified therein as an "Attribution Notice." You must cause the Source Code for any Derivative Works that You create to carry a prominent Attribution Notice reasonably calculated to inform recipients that You have modified the Original Work.

Does this mean the full copyright notice must be kept in every file you copy and change to your own design package?

see full notice below:

 * Magento
 * This source file is subject to the Academic Free License (AFL 3.0)
 * that is bundled with this package in the file LICENSE_AFL.txt.
 * It is also available through the world-wide-web at this URL:
 * http://opensource.org/licenses/afl-3.0.php
 * If you did not receive a copy of the license and are unable to
 * obtain it through the world-wide-web, please send an email
 * to [email protected] so we can send you a copy immediately.
 * Do not edit or add to this file if you wish to upgrade Magento to newer
 * versions in the future. If you wish to customize Magento for your
 * needs please refer to http://www.magento.com for more information.
 * @category    design
 * @package     rwd_default
 * @copyright   Copyright (c) 2006-2015 X.commerce, Inc. (http://www.magento.com)
 * @license     http://opensource.org/licenses/afl-3.0.php  Academic Free License (AFL 3.0)

============== Follow up Question ==============

@benmarks based on your official answer, would the following fulfil all legal requirements:

 * Derivative work based on template in base/default theme created by:
 * Magento
 * @copyright   Copyright (c) 2006-2015 X.commerce, Inc. (http://www.magento.com)
 * @license     http://opensource.org/licenses/afl-3.0.php  Academic Free License (AFL 3.0)
 * Changes by: My Name
 * @copyright   Copyright (c) 2015 MyCompany Ltd 
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure I know the right answer, however, IANAL so I'm consulting with our legal team before I provide it.
    – benmarks
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 11:40
  • 3
    @benmarks I would definitely go the route of spelling out "I am not a lawyer" in full next time :P
    – Moose
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


The official answer:

Any work which you create based on a AFL 3.0-licensed content must retain the copyright and attribution notices of the original work. Note that this does not mean that you give up the copyright to your work; you retain ownership of the derivative work which you created.

Followup answer:

Your proposed header satisfies the requirement. Ideally you might add a note with the path to the source file from which it was derived, but this is not a requirement.

We will likely put out some recommendations - probably in our documentation - akin to an "attribution style guide".

  • thank you for the official answer, I added a follow up question in the question, would the legal team be able to look at this and provide any feedback, as to what would need changing if this does not fulfil all requirements. It would be great to have some sort of Magento guideline for all developers to use. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 20:26
  • @MartijnSchot - can you elaborate what do you mean by that or provide example? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 16:01
  • @PiotrKaminski In the question I added an example under ============== Follow up Question ============== Would this be enough to fulfil the legal requirements if this would be in a copied and amended template file? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 16:05
  • Added an update.
    – benmarks
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 13:58

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