[sword-devel] IMP file format

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Sun Nov 4 12:13:29 MST 2007

On Sun, 4 Nov 2007, jonathon wrote:

> All:
> I just looked at the wiki page
> http://www.crosswire.org/wiki/index.php/File_Formats
> And under IMP it says:  "This proprietary file format is used by Sword
> for import of all types of modules."
> Since the API is distributed under the GNU GPL, how can that file
> format be proprietary?

First, proprietary can mean many things. It can mean that there are no
specifications available at all or that the specifications are available
only if you pay for them. It can also mean that the specification is
controlled by some company or organization and other parties can not
affect it though they can see and use it. And what else, I don't know.
Probably there is no official meaning for term "proprietary file

File formats cannot in practice be Open in a same way than software can.
ODF is said to be open but you can't just take the standard, modify it
and pass it on with the same name. If you could and did, they would be
only problems for all.

Anyways, it is usually legal to use a file format even if it's
"proprietary". Therefore it's possible to make programs which are
compatible with that format. Think for example MS Word and competitors -
it would be dangerous for the market if only MS could use their own
format. MS can try to obscure the format but they cannot legally stop
others using it.

	Eeli Kaikkonen (Mr.), Oulu, Finland
	e-mail: eekaikko at mailx.studentx.oulux.fix (with no x)

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