[sword-devel] Announcing Sword++

Jaak Ristioja jaak at ristioja.ee
Mon Sep 26 11:30:43 MST 2016

Thank you, Troy!

On 26.09.2016 20:29, Troy A. Griffitts wrote:
> I can foresee a few problems for Bibletime not basing development on
> libsword, one primarily being that the software will need to discern the
> distribution rights of the module repository, if you still plan to point
> Bibletime to CrossWire to obtain modules.  I'd like to support you the
> best we can and that probably means that we need to release a lower
> level bundle of possibly C-only code which can access our binary format
> and let you base your development on that.  This will still, in name,
> allow you to say you are using the SWORD library and still have legal
> access to modules which have distribution rights granted to CrossWire. 
> We should spend the time to do this for you; otherwise, your software
> will need to be aware of which modules are freely distributable and you
> are certainly welcome to have your users download those from our server.

Can you please elaborate more on these restrictions, please? I'm no
lawyer and I'm a bit confused. Because on one hand, the software is
licensed under the GNU GPL2, which means that anyone can modify and
build upon it, rename it etc etc, and IMHO there is not much Crosswire
can do to prevent anyone from doing so, except perhaps when you release
the software under some other license and implement some form of DRM
(but I guess you need the consent of all developers who have contributed
GPL-2 code to the code?). Factually, the distribution point of the
modules seems to be the web server, which you control anyway. So as far
as I know, one can download the modules using a web browser. I don't
understand how anyone outside of Crosswire is legally bound to "using
the SWORD library" for that. But if that still holds, I don't think one
could bar anyone from calling Sword++ a patched version of the SWORD
library. I guess distros may also be using patched versions of SWORD.

Many blessings,

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