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Re: SWISH-E License

From: <moseley(at)not-real.hank.org>
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 14:55:43 GMT
On Thu, May 22, 2003 at 07:03:58AM -0700, Greg Fenton wrote:
> The GPL is, in my opinion, the *least* restrictive license out there. 
> There is *nothing* that states that "any software that touches it must
> also release its source code".  That is FUD.
> 
> What the GPL says, in a nutshell, is that if you modify source code
> that is GPLed *and you distribute* that modified software, then you
> also must make the modified software available (to the recipient of the
> modified software).
> 
> Note: if I simply use a GPL'ed *software* (not source code) in my
> proprietary system, this is okay!

Thanks Greg, that's all my (limited) understanding, too.

My feelings are, which seems to fit with GPL:

- People can use swish-e in their own products.  They just need to say they 
are using Swish-e.  They can still profit from providing their own software 
that has features thanks to swish-e.

- This is gray area, but if they fix or improve something then that should
be available for updating swish-e for everyone.  Seems fair, if they find a
bug it should be fixed for all users.  A bit more gray, but adding a new
feature should make it back to swish-e.  Swish-e remains a "group effort". 
Minor point, but it doesn't make sense for us to work for free so they can
profit, but they get paid to do their programming but don't share it back.

The problem I have with LGPL is that it's too confusing with regard to the 
"library".  Under swish-e the library is the bulk of swish, so I see that it 
makes no sense that running the swish-e program is any different than 
linking directly with the library.  LGPL just seems like GPL with more gray 
area.

So, it seems like anyone can use GPL Swish-e (binary or library) in their
own product without restriction, without forcing them to make their own
product GPL'd and can charge for their product as they like.  But they 
cannot take it, claim it as their own, and as a result claim patent on it 
preventing other from using it.  Seems reasonable.


-- 
Bill Moseley
moseley@hank.org
Received on Thu May 22 14:55:52 2003