Before any one person or organisation commences on any open source development work, whether it is building something from scratch or modifying existing open source software products, it is absolutely essential that they understand open source licensing.
Otherwise they may end up in hot water, in court or facing substantial financial losses.
SuiteCRM is licensed under the Affero General Purpose License 3 (AGPL).
The implications for anyone modifying SuiteCRM are:
If you modify it for your own use or for the use of another individual party, then there is no obligation on you to share those modifications.
If you modify a single line of SuiteCRM and distribute the code, whether through a paid cloud service or download, then you are obligated to provide all the changes and maintain a “download source” feature that would provide complete and corresponding source code.
In other words: You cannot simply take SuiteCRM, modify it, sell/distribute the modified version and keep it private. As soon as you start selling/distributing a modified version, you must provide a download facility where anyone (not just customers) can download the modified version. Failure to do so will find you in court. There are numerous examples of companies who have sought to gain advantage by modifying open source code or including existing open source code in their products without sharing the modifications. In each and every case the judgement has been to the detriment of the company at fault and has often resulted in large fines and the requirement to share the code.
So, the model is clear. This is open source. It is about sharing and collaboration. It is not about monetising private versions of SuiteCRM. That is not legal under the terms of the license.