[sword-devel] [Fwd: BOUNCE sword-devel@crosswire.org: Non-member submission from [Derek "A." Neighbors <derek@gnue.org>]]

Troy A. Griffitts sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 26 May 2001 23:29:59 -0700

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Subject: BOUNCE sword-devel@crosswire.org:    Non-member submission from [Derek "A." Neighbors <derek@gnue.org>]   

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Subject: RE: [sword-devel] GPL issues (again, sorry)
From: Derek "A." Neighbors <derek@gnue.org>
To: sword-devel@crosswire.org
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Date: 24 May 2001 19:02:02 -0700
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First let me say this is one the more accurate posts I have seen on the
GPL from a project, kudos to doing due diligence.

> For our purposes, I see the benefit as being the ability to change the
> license generally (such as to LGPL) or to license to other groups like SIL

Well it makes changing license easier, but generally this is NOT why
groups like FSF pool copyright into a collective. The real reason is
that its the only way to ensure you can defend the code in court.  You
are correct that it would take all who committed to code to change the
license and thus having collective copyright could make that easier, but
if that is the reason you wish to get collective copyright I imagine a
LOT of people wouldnt be willing to assign thiers.

> If "Crosswire" owns the copyright, then things are considerably simpler.

Yes and no.  Simpler to defend your code yes.  Simpler to make global
license changes yes.  Simpler to manage, NO WAY!  I am a STRONG
supporter that ANY open source project that has more than one active
developer needs to handle copyright by doing a collective copyright, but
I will tell you from GNU project experience its a lot of work.  As you
must get signed paper work from people contributing.  This might sound
silly but have you ever considered making SWORD a GNU project?

> The proprietary libraries to which I'm referring are not OS libraries and do
> not come with embedded Visual C++.  Were that the case, we'd have no
> problem.  I am using Dinkumware's library to make up for the severe
> deficiencies in eVC.  This library is commercial and very expensive.  See
> http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl-faq.html#WritingFSWithNFLibs for the FSF's
> opinion on linking to non-free libraries.  If someone wants to write a GPL
> library for WinCE that handles STL and basic i/o calls, we don't need
> Dinkumware.  But I don't see that happening, so we need an exception to our
> license, which requires permission from EVERYONE who ever contributed to
> Sword.

You can just put an exception in your GPL that says its ok to link to
this library. (this was the proposed solution for Qt btw)  This way you
dont have to change the jist of your license but you arent limiting what
the software can do.

> Not really, but I am hoping smaller groups like SIL and Bible societies will
> use Sword for projects internally and in general release and it would make
> some sense to allow them to use it under LGPL.

What would these groups be using it as that would need to be LGPL? 

> I would, however, cast my own vote in favor of retaining GPL as our general
> license because I think it encourages others to make free software and I
> think that's a good thing.  Not everyone seems to remember Matt. 10:8b--
> "Freely you received, so freely give."  I think the GPL serves well as a
> friendly reminder.

I think in the spirit of giving it should be GPL.  Barring that should
we really ADVOCATE people making profit off of spreading the gospel?  As
much as people here complain (rightfully so) about the ill copyright of
many bible texts and locked modules.  Why would you change the license
of SWORD to allow other groups to do the same?

Lets face it the only reason one would be against using a GPL
compatiable license would be so that they could make a profit in
licensing.  Why should people pay licensing 'royalaties' to enjoy the
word of God?

You all have a wonderful product.  I hope you keep it free in the sense
that others have to keep free.