[jsword-devel] Re: [sword-devel] Sword license

Andreas Trauer jsword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 28 Sep 2003 15:34:23 +0200

Hi Mike,

 probably you can't get enough licenses from the contributors. Maybe you 
can write a kind of "GPL barrier". A GPL barrier is an interface. When 
you are the copyright holder of the interface then you have to release 
the interface under GPL (when you distribute it at all), because the 
interface uses GPL'd libraries, includes, etc.  On the other hand, the 
GPL is non-exclusive, so you can also use your own license on your 
interface code BESIDE the GPL.

To be sure to not violate the GPL:
Write the games on a path where it has no access to GPL code or 
libraries (jar files) except your interface source code. To compile it 
successfully as Java code you probably have to provide your interface as 
an empty interface. When you have compiled your games without any access 
to GPL-only code, then there is no GPL-limitation on the distribution of 
this code, because it is definitely not derived code.  To use the code 
the customer need to have any library that provides the functionality 
that your interface provide. JSword and your interface under the GPL can 
be used with it as one possiblity. When both code is used together, then 
some philosophers may argue that it becomes derived work in the 
computers memory. But that doesn't matter, because the restrictions of 
the GPL apply only to the distribution of the code, not to the usage.

If you only need a few functions like "get verse x y:z" or "find foo in 
bar", then the interface can be implented quickly, I think.

Maybe this helps.


Joe Walker wrote:

> Hi,
> I probably own the copyright to 90%+ of JSword and my personal 
> priorities put helping people to read and understand the Bible above 
> philosophical ideals of software freedom. However even though the 
> answer from me would be "not sure it depends", you would also need to 
> get the agreement of:
> - Mark Goodwin
> - Jacky Cheung
> - Keith Ralston
> And here's the biggy:
> - Troy Griffitts, and anyone else who contributed to the Sword module 
> code (a fair bit of the Sword module drivers are a fairly direct port 
> (or derived work in copyrighteze) from the Sword code)
> So the long and short is that it is probably too late.
> Maybe it would be easier for me to persuade you to use the GPL for 
> your games?
> Joe.
> Mike Kienenberger wrote:
>> I'm a games developer, and I'm interested in developing games 
>> incorporating bible verses.
>> I've looked around, and I found the Sword project.   However, since I 
>> do all
>> of my work in Java and the Sword project was in C++, I figured I'd 
>> end up having to write my own classes to read the data sources, and 
>> began to do so,
>> especially since what little I saw of the Sword source didn't appear 
>> to follow a well-designed (in my own opinion of course) object model.
>> However, I decided to do a search on the web and found Jsword.  It 
>> looks like you have a well-defined API accessing data in the drivers.
>> However, you're only releasing it under GPL, that means I can't use 
>> it since
>> I use other APIs that are incompatible with GPL.
>> Is there any chance you could release the API under LGPL or Apache or 
>> BSD or
>> some other more developer-friendly License?  The only comment in the 
>> mailing
>> list archive I found on licensing seemed ambivalent.
>> Thanks,
>> -Mike
>> Joe Walker <joe@eireneh.com> wrote:
>>> >>If I read the Sword/JSword source code and from that   
>> design/information  
>>> >>write (port would be accurate?) classes, methods, etc. in 
>>> Squeak   
>> to  
>>> >>process Sword Modules would I be obligated to also use the GPL?
>>> >If you write your own classes in Squeak to read Sword modules, 
>>> you're   
>> not
>>> >incorporating Sword GPL code into your work.  If you read our 
>>> code to   
>> see
>>> >how we do it and then write your own code to perform the same   
>> functions,  
>>> >you're not violating our copyright.
>>> [...]
>>> HOWEVER in a way that is probably irrelevant because if you read any 
>>> of the JSword code that I wrote then I'm totally happy for you to 
>>> write a non-GPL, open source program based on it, and I'll copy this 
>>> message to jsword-devel to see what Mark thinks - Mark's opinion 
>>> here is more important than mine because he wrote more of the Java 
>>> version of the Sword drivers than me.
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