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digitalmars.D - [OT] Making my library licences GPL-compatible

reply Stewart Gordon <smjg_1998 yahoo.com> writes:
At the moment I have this licence text in SDWF and my utility library:

----------
Feel free to use, redistribute and/or modify this code as you see fit.
Just a few rules if you're going to redistribute it:

1. Keep this notice in the source code files.
2. If you change anything, make a note of this fact in comment form.
3. Don't try to make any money out of it.  (You may, however, freely use 
this product in a commercial software product of your own creation, to 
the extent allowed by your D compiler's licence terms.)
----------

I decided to write something simple rather than attach GPL or LGPL to
it, partly with an "I don't like reading long, complicated licence 
agreements, and I know you don't either" kind of attitude.  Moreover, I 
wasn't sure of the details of either, and even now the only thing I'm 
sure of is that the viral nature of GPL isn't for my libs.

However, I can see that it might make sense to make the licence 
GPL-compatible.  Is there anything that needs to be changed in the above
text for this to be so?

I guess the only issue, if there is one, is point 3.  GPL allows people 
to sell copies.  But what does GPL-compatible really mean?  Is it 
sufficient that it is possible to license applications created with my 
library as GPL?

Of course, any application created with my library isn't the library, 
but a derivative work.  OTOH GPL software isn't exactly commercial 
software.  On this basis, I'm inclined that this isn't directly 
contradictory to GPL compatibility, but open to interpretation.

So I guess the question is if I should rephrase point 3 to make it 
clearer on this count.  To the effect that applications that use my 
library (and maybe some other kinds of derivative works) may carry any 
licence including one that grants the right to sell.

Then, the next question becomes how I should write it....

Stewart.

-- 
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My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox.  Please keep replies on
the 'group where everyone may benefit.
Jul 07 2005
next sibling parent Manfred Nowak <svv1999 hotmail.com> writes:
Stewart Gordon <smjg_1998 yahoo.com> wrote:

[...]
 I decided to write something simple rather than attach GPL or
 LGPL to it

Congrats, you managed to make it simple, but are you sure that you want to stand the consequences of this simplicity? One simple example: you do not exclude neglegent errors in your code from your liability but allow commercial usage. This means in consequence that you can be put into jail in germany because of a typo in your code. -manfred
Jul 07 2005
prev sibling next sibling parent reply clayasaurus <clayasaurus gmail.com> writes:
Stewart Gordon wrote:
 At the moment I have this licence text in SDWF and my utility library:
 
 ----------
 Feel free to use, redistribute and/or modify this code as you see fit.
 Just a few rules if you're going to redistribute it:
 
 1. Keep this notice in the source code files.
 2. If you change anything, make a note of this fact in comment form.
 3. Don't try to make any money out of it.  (You may, however, freely use 
 this product in a commercial software product of your own creation, to 
 the extent allowed by your D compiler's licence terms.)
 ----------

Yours looks similar to the zlib liscense, which is GPL compatable. http://www.gzip.org/zlib/zlib_license.html http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses
 
 I decided to write something simple rather than attach GPL or LGPL to
 it, partly with an "I don't like reading long, complicated licence 
 agreements, and I know you don't either" kind of attitude.  Moreover, I 
 wasn't sure of the details of either, and even now the only thing I'm 
 sure of is that the viral nature of GPL isn't for my libs.
 
 However, I can see that it might make sense to make the licence 
 GPL-compatible.  Is there anything that needs to be changed in the above
 text for this to be so?
 
 I guess the only issue, if there is one, is point 3.  GPL allows people 
 to sell copies.  But what does GPL-compatible really mean?  Is it 
 sufficient that it is possible to license applications created with my 
 library as GPL?
 
 Of course, any application created with my library isn't the library, 
 but a derivative work.  OTOH GPL software isn't exactly commercial 
 software.  On this basis, I'm inclined that this isn't directly 
 contradictory to GPL compatibility, but open to interpretation.
 
 So I guess the question is if I should rephrase point 3 to make it 
 clearer on this count.  To the effect that applications that use my 
 library (and maybe some other kinds of derivative works) may carry any 
 licence including one that grants the right to sell.
 
 Then, the next question becomes how I should write it....
 
 Stewart.
 

Jul 07 2005
next sibling parent Stewart Gordon <smjg_1998 yahoo.com> writes:
clayasaurus wrote:
<snip>
 Yours looks similar to the zlib liscense, which is GPL compatable.
 http://www.gzip.org/zlib/zlib_license.html
 http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses

Yes, that looks like the licence that's been applied to some Phobos modules. But what really is the licence of this licence? And there's a small ambiguity: by "freely" is it talking of price or freedom? Stewart. -- -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GCS/M d- s:- a->--- UB P+ L E W++ N+++ o K- w++ O? M V? PS- PE- Y? PGP- t- 5? X? R b DI? D G e++>++++ h-- r-- !y ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox. Please keep replies on the 'group where everyone may benefit.
Jul 07 2005
prev sibling parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
clayasaurus wrote:

 Just a few rules if you're going to redistribute it:

 1. Keep this notice in the source code files.
 2. If you change anything, make a note of this fact in comment form.
 3. Don't try to make any money out of it.  (You may, however, freely 
 use this product in a commercial software product of your own 
 creation, to the extent allowed by your D compiler's licence terms.)

Yours looks similar to the zlib liscense, which is GPL compatable. http://www.gzip.org/zlib/zlib_license.html http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses

I second that, the zlib license is a good one... http://www.opensource.org/licenses/zlib-license.php zlib uses it. libpng uses it. and Phobos uses it. And I've used it myself too, if that counts :-) There are times when the GPL / FDL makes sense too, so another option is the LGPL - like e.g. SDL uses ? It does have the "viral" / "Free" aspect, though. (for better and for worse, as discussed elsewhere) --anders
Jul 07 2005
parent reply Stewart Gordon <smjg_1998 yahoo.com> writes:
Anders F Björklund wrote:
<snip>
 I second that, the zlib license is a good one...
 http://www.opensource.org/licenses/zlib-license.php

 There are times when the GPL / FDL makes sense too,
 so another option is the LGPL - like e.g. SDL uses ?
 
 It does have the "viral" / "Free" aspect, though.
 (for better and for worse, as discussed elsewhere)

What do you mean? The viral nature of GPL is that all applications that use the library must themselves be GPL. It would seem that the FSF was trying to convert all software projects to the GPL way of life. Neither zlib nor LPGL has such a rule. Stewart. -- -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GCS/M d- s:- a->--- UB P+ L E W++ N+++ o K- w++ O? M V? PS- PE- Y? PGP- t- 5? X? R b DI? D G e++>++++ h-- r-- !y ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox. Please keep replies on the 'group where everyone may benefit.
Jul 18 2005
parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Stewart Gordon wrote:

 It does have the "viral" / "Free" aspect, though.
 (for better and for worse, as discussed elsewhere)

What do you mean? The viral nature of GPL is that all applications that use the library must themselves be GPL. It would seem that the FSF was trying to convert all software projects to the GPL way of life. Neither zlib nor LPGL has such a rule.

Right. Although LGPL does have such a rule for any library enhancements, and also has a rule about "being replacable" which usually means that it needs to be dynamically linked into the application (and not statically, unless you provide object code or some other means to relink your app ?) What I *meant* to say was that the GPL/FDL is viral and LGPL might be an alternative if you want "copyleft" - and that I use a zlib license on my own code, but GPL/LGPL in some projects where they were started as such. Somehow it came out wrong, or with the wrong reference / wrong context ? Both types of open source licenses are useful, IMHO. (Copyleft vs. BSD) Take for instance D's : GDC -> GNU GPL license, Phobos -> zlib license. Deciding on a license is an important issue for any software project, but I don't really want to discuss it on the D language newsgroup... --anders PS. You're right about FSF not really liking the LGPL "compromise": http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-not-lgpl.html
Jul 18 2005
prev sibling next sibling parent Marco <Marco_member pathlink.com> writes:
In article <daj9tn$1721$1 digitaldaemon.com>, Stewart Gordon says...
At the moment I have this licence text in SDWF and my utility library:

bad: GPL will essentially make a library unusable in a commercial app better: LPGL is a reasonable compromise best: find a simpler license (such as suggested by OPs)
Jul 17 2005
prev sibling parent Hasan Aljudy <hasan.aljudy gmail.com> writes:
Stewart Gordon wrote:
 At the moment I have this licence text in SDWF and my utility library:
 
 ----------
 Feel free to use, redistribute and/or modify this code as you see fit.
 Just a few rules if you're going to redistribute it:
 
 1. Keep this notice in the source code files.
 2. If you change anything, make a note of this fact in comment form.
 3. Don't try to make any money out of it.  (You may, however, freely use 
 this product in a commercial software product of your own creation, to 
 the extent allowed by your D compiler's licence terms.)
 ----------
 
 I decided to write something simple rather than attach GPL or LGPL to
 it, partly with an "I don't like reading long, complicated licence 
 agreements, and I know you don't either" kind of attitude.  Moreover, I 
 wasn't sure of the details of either, and even now the only thing I'm 
 sure of is that the viral nature of GPL isn't for my libs.
 
 However, I can see that it might make sense to make the licence 
 GPL-compatible.  Is there anything that needs to be changed in the above
 text for this to be so?
 
 I guess the only issue, if there is one, is point 3.  GPL allows people 
 to sell copies.  But what does GPL-compatible really mean?  Is it 
 sufficient that it is possible to license applications created with my 
 library as GPL?
 
 Of course, any application created with my library isn't the library, 
 but a derivative work.  OTOH GPL software isn't exactly commercial 
 software.  On this basis, I'm inclined that this isn't directly 
 contradictory to GPL compatibility, but open to interpretation.
 
 So I guess the question is if I should rephrase point 3 to make it 
 clearer on this count.  To the effect that applications that use my 
 library (and maybe some other kinds of derivative works) may carry any 
 licence including one that grants the right to sell.
 
 Then, the next question becomes how I should write it....
 
 Stewart.
 

Like Manfrek said, be aware of lame legal consequences .. You might wanna add a disclaimer to it.
Jul 17 2005