Legality of SaaS


I intend to build a SaaS version of OpenEMR without modifying OpenEMR itself and make it available to my customers on a subscription basis. I wish to keep the code used to implement the SaaS proprietary but the OpenEMR that will be provided to my customers will be unmodified and hosted on AWS.

Will this be in agreement with the terms and conditions of the license governing the use of OpenEMR for commercial purposes?

Thanking you in advance for any legal guidance that points me in the right direction.

hi @Rupam_Kundu , the license for the project is GPL v3. Here’s GNU’s License FAQ.

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Thanks @stephenwaite for your reply.

Do you have any intentions of contributing back to the OpenEMR project? You’ll note that if you are not contributing to the community and are running a software development business on top of OpenEMR, that most of us will not be inclined to help you.

I suggest you consult a good lawyer as to the best of my knowledge many of the GPL3 terms around what counts as a distribution have not been litigated in court. Since there is no settled case law around what counts as a distribution some have theorized that a distribution only counts when you are providing a downloaded version of the software. Based on that theory, some have interpreted the GPL3 to be safe to use in a SaaS environment. However, ultimately it comes down to what a judge interprets the license to be based on existing case law and settled precedent. You need to understand your risks and a lawyer is the one that will best help you with that. Good luck.

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Thank you @adunsulag for your detailed reply. I intend to consult a good lawyer before proceeding with the SaaS business idea.