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wxPython Licence vs GPL

P: n/a
we have some Python code we're planning to GPL. However, bits of it were
cut&pasted from some wxPython-licenced code to use as a starting point
for implementation. It is possible that some fragments of this code
remains unchanged at the end.

How should we refer to this in terms of copyright statements and bundled
Licence files? Is there, say, a standard wording to be appended to the
GPL header in each source file? Does the original author need to be
named as one of the copyright holders, or that ours is a derivative work
from his? Which of these would be required under the terms of the
Licence, and which by standard practice / courtesy?

(This assumes the wxPython Licence is compatible with the GPL -- if not,
do we just cosmetically change any remaining lines, so none remain from
the orignal?)

Thanks

John
Nov 22 '05 #1
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84 Replies


P: n/a
Hello John & Sarah,
(This assumes the wxPython Licence is compatible with the GPL -- if not,
do we just cosmetically change any remaining lines, so none remain from
the orignal?)


IIRC, wxPython license has nothing to do with GPL. Its license is far more
"free" than GPL is. If you want to create commercial apps with wxPython, you
can do it without messing with licenses. With GPL code is somewhat harder. I
am not an expert but someone has suggested me to change my widgets' license
from GPL to "LGPL with exceptions", that means wxWidgets/wxPython license,
in order to include those widgets inside his applications.

Sorry if that does not help a lot.

Andrea.

"Imagination Is The Only Weapon In The War Against Reality."
http://xoomer.virgilio.it/infinity77
Nov 22 '05 #2

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John Perks and Sarah Mount wrote:
we have some Python code we're planning to GPL. However, bits of it were
cut&pasted from some wxPython-licenced code to use as a starting point
for implementation. It is possible that some fragments of this code
remains unchanged at the end.


Well, you could always mail Robin and ask him. There is a mailto bug on
http://www.wxpython.org/contribute.php
I would, at the very least, acknowledge the wxPython origin of the code
whether any remains or not (credit is appreciated and cheap to give).
My preference is always to be asked unless I've already posted the
standard answer.

--Scott David Daniels
sc***********@acm.org
Nov 22 '05 #3

P: n/a
> IIRC, wxPython license has nothing to do with GPL. Its license is far
more
"free" than GPL is. If you want to create commercial apps with wxPython, you can do it without messing with licenses.


This isn't a commercial app though, it's for a research project and
apparently it's a requirement that we have to GPL it. It's a question of
what we need to add to our code to ensure that those fragments of
someone else's wxPython-licenced code in our GPL'ed app to ensure that
no license is transgressed, copyright violated or unatttributed or
anyone having grounds to feel hard done by.

Nov 22 '05 #4

P: n/a
John Perks and Sarah Mount wrote:

[Andrea Gavan wrote:]
IIRC, wxPython license has nothing to do with GPL. Its license is far

more
"free" than GPL is. If you want to create commercial apps with

wxPython, you
can do it without messing with licenses.


This isn't a commercial app though, it's for a research project and
apparently it's a requirement that we have to GPL it. It's a question of
what we need to add to our code to ensure that those fragments of
someone else's wxPython-licenced code in our GPL'ed app to ensure that
no license is transgressed, copyright violated or unatttributed or
anyone having grounds to feel hard done by.


That's not a problem since the wxWidgets license specifically contains a
provision for relicensing wxPython et al. as GPL. See section 3 in the
file docs/lgpl.txt . The instructions there are fairly clear. You could
also do it without explicitly relicensing wxPython as GPL since the
license is GPL-compatible, but this may be easier for you.

As always, keep the copyright notices intact and follow the instructions
in the licenses. It's also a good idea to document exactly what changes
you have made and what is originally someone else's.

--
Robert Kern
ro*********@gmail.com

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
-- Richard Harter

Nov 22 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 12:57:12 -0800, Scott David Daniels wrote:
I would, at the very least, acknowledge the wxPython origin of the code
whether any remains or not (credit is appreciated and cheap to give).


Ha ha, don't ask movie director James Cameron about *that*. On the basis
of a throw-away line that he "got the idea" for Terminator from a couple
of Harlan Ellison stories, he and the studio were sued by Ellison, who
ultimately won and was awarded millions.

In this world where ideas are thought to be property (if only I could
own the idea that ideas can be owned) the safest position is to claim
you've never read a book, seen a line of code, been to the movies or heard
a song in your life.

(Only half joking.)

--
Steven.

Nov 22 '05 #6

P: n/a
"John Perks and Sarah Mount" <jo**********@estragon.freeserve.co.uk> writes:
How should we refer to this in terms of copyright statements and bundled
Licence files? Is there, say, a standard wording to be appended to the
GPL header in each source file? Does the original author need to be
named as one of the copyright holders, or that ours is a derivative work
from his? Which of these would be required under the terms of the
Licence, and which by standard practice / courtesy?
The answer to most of these depends on the wxPython license. You'll
have to read it - or, as others have suggested, ask the author. The
only thing that can be said is that if you include work from another
person, you've created a derived work. If they have a copyright on
that original work, they have a copyright on your derived work.
(This assumes the wxPython Licence is compatible with the GPL -- if not,
do we just cosmetically change any remaining lines, so none remain from
the orignal?)


Taking the orignal and changing it - whether cosmetic or not - is the
definition of a "derived work". That won't change the copyright status
at all. If you can't include it in a GPL'ed work, then nothing you can
do to it will let you do that.

Or you could just use it and claim that the excerpts are small enough
to qualify as fair use. But it would be far more polite to ask the
author.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 22 '05 #7

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Steven D'Aprano wrote:
On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 12:57:12 -0800, Scott David Daniels wrote:
I would, at the very least, acknowledge the wxPython origin of the code
whether any remains or not (credit is appreciated and cheap to give).
Ha ha, don't ask movie director James Cameron about *that*. On the basis
of a throw-away line that he "got the idea" for Terminator from a couple
of Harlan Ellison stories, he and the studio were sued by Ellison, who
ultimately won and was awarded millions.


Yes, but this anecdote is more relevant to various "modern" patent
regimes, not copyright.
In this world where ideas are thought to be property (if only I could
own the idea that ideas can be owned) the safest position is to claim
you've never read a book, seen a line of code, been to the movies or heard
a song in your life.
This is somewhat difficult given that the questioner wanted to include
"evidence" of having seen the code (ie. the code itself) in his own
work. Not reproducing copyright attributions is a sure way to be on the
end of copyright infringement proceedings.
(Only half joking.)


I should hope so. But I imagine the questioner was looking for serious
advice.

Paul

Nov 23 '05 #8

P: n/a
Andrea Gavana wrote:
IIRC, wxPython license has nothing to do with GPL. Its license is far more
"free" than GPL is.
That would be "free as in freeloading", right? (And no, I'm not
intending to start a licensing flame war with that remark, but I think
it's inappropriate to ignore central licensing concepts such as
end-user freedoms, and then to make sweeping statements about how
"free" the GPL is or isn't. If people want to use the GPL as a
convenient punchbag, I think they have to work a bit harder justifying
their gym subscription.)
If you want to create commercial apps with wxPython, you can do it without messing
with licenses. With GPL code is somewhat harder.


That's confusing "commercial" with "proprietary" or "closed source", by
the way.

Paul

Nov 23 '05 #9

P: n/a
"John Perks and Sarah Mount" <jo**********@estragon.freeserve.co.uk> wrote
in message news:dl**********@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
we have some Python code we're planning to GPL. However, bits of it were (This assumes the wxPython Licence is compatible with the GPL -- if not,
do we just cosmetically change any remaining lines, so none remain from
the orignal?)


What makes you think that cosmetic changes in a copyrighted work affect the
copyright?
Nov 23 '05 #10

P: n/a
Paul Boddie <pa**@boddie.org.uk> wrote:
That would be "free as in freeloading", right? (And no, I'm not
intending to start a licensing flame war with that remark, but I think
it's inappropriate to ignore central licensing concepts such as
end-user freedoms, and then to make sweeping statements about how
"free" the GPL is or isn't. If people want to use the GPL as a
convenient punchbag, I think they have to work a bit harder justifying
their gym subscription.)


Blame the GPL and FSF for the confusion.

Try this little experiment: Walk up, at random, to 100 people on the
street. Show them a software CD-ROM -- a game, a word processor,
whatever. Tell them it's free. Then ask them what they think that
means.

99 times out of 100, they'll think it means it's free-as-in-beer.
They *won't* think it means they'll get the source code, and the right
to tweak that source code. They *won't* think it means they have the
right to infinitely redistribute it.

At best, the GPL/FSF engaged in what I consider false advertising.
Free Software (note the capital 'F' and 'S') *isn't*, by the most
widely understood and assumed definition of "free". They should have
called it "liberated software" or "share and share alike software" or
"free as in herpes" software. Free Software is certainly not free
software, since it comes heavily encumbered by licensing issues.

The success of things like Python -- which is not GPL licensed, afaik
-- pretty much proves the GPL is unnecessary for the success of free
projects. The GPL is just some bizarre social agenda being pushed by
some crazies, and a lot of programmers (who are not lawyers) fell for
the hippie nonsense.

So, you may like to bandy around the mildly offensive "free as in
freeloading", but then that gives me the right to refer to GPL'd
software as "free as in pushing my personal social agenda".
Nov 23 '05 #11

P: n/a
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 12:57:12 -0800, Scott David Daniels wrote:
I would, at the very least, acknowledge the wxPython origin of the code
whether any remains or not (credit is appreciated and cheap to give).


... In this world where ideas are thought to be property (if only I could
own the idea that ideas can be owned) the safest position is to claim
you've never read a book, seen a line of code, been to the movies or heard
a song in your life.

(Only half joking.)


OK, we are working in a language released for free use around the world.
wxPython is publicly available for free. Guess whether someone will sue
you for using such things. Failure to give credit, _especially_ given
you were charged nothing for the original is _at_the_very_least_ rude,
and I would go for immoral and don't care to speculate about the
legality. Using another's work without giving credit is plagiarism,
you are representing that you came up with the whole. The point of
open source is not to be able to represent as your work a larger work
than you can really accomplish. The point is to collectively produce
what we cannot produce singly. Give others their due, and perhaps (at
least some of the time) they will do the same for you.

I would rather know from the creator of a work the extent to which he
feels he owns the original and derived works, and simply avoid using
the others.

--Scott David Daniels
sc***********@acm.org
Nov 23 '05 #12

P: n/a
John Perks and Sarah Mount wrote:
we have some Python code we're planning to GPL. However, bits of it were
cut&pasted from some wxPython-licenced code to use as a starting point
for implementation. It is possible that some fragments of this code
remains unchanged at the end.
Whether or not some fragments of code remain unchanged at the end of
your project, if you start out with a piece of source code lifted from
wxPython then what you have created is definitely a "derivative work"
and, as such, you must take into account the wxPython license in your
licensing of the derivative work.
How should we refer to this in terms of copyright statements and bundled
Licence files? Is there, say, a standard wording to be appended to the
GPL header in each source file? Does the original author need to be
named as one of the copyright holders, or that ours is a derivative work
from his? Which of these would be required under the terms of the
Licence, and which by standard practice / courtesy?
You'll have to read the wxPython license in order to find out the answer
to that question.
(This assumes the wxPython Licence is compatible with the GPL -- if not,
do we just cosmetically change any remaining lines, so none remain from
the orignal?)

That won't stop your code from being a derivative work. You'll need to
take licensing and copyright issues a little more seriously before you
release anything.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006 www.python.org/pycon/

Nov 23 '05 #13

P: n/a
Ed Jensen wrote:
Try this little experiment: Walk up, at random, to 100 people on the
street. Show them a software CD-ROM -- a game, a word processor,
whatever. Tell them it's free. Then ask them what they think that
means.
It's interesting that you bring this tired thought experiment up in the
context of the original remark: "Its license is far more "free" than
GPL is." If we were focusing on the "vox pop" interpretation of the
word "free", that remark wouldn't make any sense at all: after all,
what's more gratis than gratis (to use a less ambiguous word)?

[...]
The success of things like Python -- which is not GPL licensed, afaik
-- pretty much proves the GPL is unnecessary for the success of free
projects.
Python is moderately successful, yes, but the GPL is a useful tool to
ensure that certain freedoms are preserved. I've been made aware of a
certain level of dissatisfaction about whether organisations porting
Python to other platforms would choose to share their modifications and
improvements with anyone, or whether binary downloads with restrictive
usage conditions would be the best even the customers of such
organisations would be able to enjoy. Ensuring some of those freedoms
can be an effective way of making open source software projects
successful.
The GPL is just some bizarre social agenda being pushed by some crazies, and a lot
of programmers (who are not lawyers) fell for the hippie nonsense.
At least when it comes to software licensing, what probably upsets the
anti-GPL "pragmatic licensing" crowd the most is that Stallman is quite
often right; the BitKeeper debacle possibly being one of the more
high-profile cases of some group's "pragmatism" (or more accurately,
apathy) serving up a big shock long after they'd presumably dismissed
"the hippie nonsense".
So, you may like to bandy around the mildly offensive "free as in freeloading",
Well, from what I've seen of open source software usage in business, a
key motivation is to freeload, clearly driven by people who neither see
nor understand any other dimension of software freedom than your "vox
pop" definition. Such users of open source software could make their
work a lot easier if they contributed back to the projects from which
they obtained the software, but I've seen little understanding of such
matters. Of course, businesses prefer to use euphemisms like "cost
reduction" or "price efficiency" rather than the more accurate
"freeloading" term, and they fail to see any long-term benefits in
anything other than zero cost, zero sharing acquisition and
redistribution of code. But then in some sectors, the game is all about
selling the same solution over and over again to the same customers, so
it's almost understandable that old habits remain.
but then that gives me the right to refer to GPL'd software as "free as in pushing my
personal social agenda".


Pushing on whom, though? No-one makes you use GPL'd software by, for
example, installing it on almost every computer you can buy from major
vendors. If, on the other hand, you mean that some social agenda is
being imposed on you because, in choosing to redistribute someone's
work, you are obliged to pass on those freedoms granted to you by the
creator (or distributor) of that work, then complaining about it seems
little more than a foot-stamping exercise than anything else.

Paul

Nov 23 '05 #14

P: n/a
On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 16:33:24 +0000
Steve Holden <st***@holdenweb.com> wrote:
Whether or not some fragments of code remain unchanged at
the end of your project, if you start out with a piece of
source code lifted from wxPython then what you have
created is definitely a "derivative work" and, as such,
you must take into account the wxPython license in your
licensing of the derivative work.


This is certainly a very pervasive claim, but I really don't
think it's true. Copyright law (at least in the US), says
nothing about how a work was created -- only what the end
product is. Copyright, after all, protects "expressions",
not "ideas".

What it means to "derive" a work from another is also
extraordinarily vague in fact -- I gather there has been
some definition through precedent, and I suspect it is the
use of provenance as *evidence* of derivation that promotes
this myth. But the mere fact that you started with someone
else's work does not make it derivative.

Consider for example that there are fine art collages made
by cutting out magazine photos and assembling them -- in
most cases, the work is regarded as a new work.
Furthermore, it is generally true that a work may quote
another work. But the interpretation is very vague and
highly inconsistent from medium to medium.

For example, it used to be that the same argument protected
sampled music and TV (and it is still common to find works
created under that assumption), but I believe that more
recent cases have attacked this and won.

Scholarly works quote copyrighted sources routinely, and in
general, free speech must surely require this ability. In
the Sony DRM case, though, would this make quoting a GPL'd
piece of code in order to recognize it as a signature legal?
(I know that allegations have been made that they do more
than that, making the issue academic, but it's still an
interesting question).

The vagueness has been overly exploited and has effectively
allowed copyright owners to claim that "derivative" means
whatever they want it to mean -- and on that basis, maybe
the myth is true as a practical matter. But that isn't what
the law says. What the law actually says is that it has to
be "twenty percent different" -- but this is "in whole or in
part" so the implication is that it somehow has to be 20%
different *throughout the work*.

As regards software, there have been precedents to support
the claim that mere cosmetic alteration does not obviate the
copyright holder's claim, so the 20% change must also be
substantive, not just cosmetic.

But the fact by itself that you started with the original
work in your editor does not, by the letter of the law, make
it a derivative work.

The "clean-room implementation" concept is based on
alleviating a fear of litigation -- it forms the basis of a
defense. It is *not* a legal requirement, AFAICT.

Of course, IANAL. ;-)

Cheers,
Terry

--
Terry Hancock (ha*****@AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

Nov 23 '05 #15

P: n/a
On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 15:34:49 +0000, Ed Jensen wrote:
Try this little experiment: Walk up, at random, to 100 people on the
street. Show them a software CD-ROM -- a game, a word processor,
whatever. Tell them it's free. Then ask them what they think that
means.

99 times out of 100, they'll think it means it's free-as-in-beer.
Oh no!!! Are you telling me that people's first thought when you hand
them a physical object and say it is free is to think that you mean
free of cost??? Say it isn't so!!!

They *won't* think it means they'll get the source code, and the right
to tweak that source code. They *won't* think it means they have the
right to infinitely redistribute it.
So what? You just tell them, and then they *will* think that they have the
right to infinitely redistribute it, because they've just be told.

If you tell them "This FREE software that I am giving you for FREE, you
are FREE to make copies for all your friends for FREE" and they still
don't get it, then they are an idiot.

At best, the GPL/FSF engaged in what I consider false advertising.
Free Software (note the capital 'F' and 'S') *isn't*, by the most
widely understood and assumed definition of "free".
Really? So when I take my GPLed software, and legally install it on
100 PCs without paying one single cent for licence fees, it isn't free of
cost?

You a living in a strange and mysterious world, where things that cost
nothing aren't free.

Of course, any particular vendor is FREE (there's that word again) to try
to charge me as much money as they like for the FREE software that I can
get for FREE from another vendor. If they can convince me that they are
offering enough added value to justify paying money for something I can
get for FREE from one of their competitors, I may even pay for that added
value.

They should have
called it "liberated software" or "share and share alike software" or
"free as in herpes" software.
As in Open Source Software perhaps?
Free Software is certainly not free
software, since it comes heavily encumbered by licensing issues.
Firstly, you contradict yourself.

You argue that "free as in speech" doesn't count for squat because 99 in
100 people think *first* of "free as in beer". Fine -- you've laid the
ground rules, you live by them. If that's the only definition of "free"
that you'll accept, then stick with it: "heavily encumbered by licensing
issues" is irrelevant. What counts is cost. Then by this restrictive
definition of "free", Free and Open Source Software *is* free, because I
am FREE to redistribute it for FREE.

Secondly, you are either guilty of rhetorical exaggeration, or you are
exceedingly ignorant of what the various licenses out in the real world
*actually* say. To describe the GPL and similar as "heavily encumbered"
is, quite frankly, idiotic.

Have you ever bothered to read proprietary software licences? They are the
heavily encumbered licences, with restrictions on when, where and how you
can you the software, how many copies you can make, whether and how many
backup copies you can create, whether or not you can transfer the licence
to somebody else, and whatever other restrictions they think they can get
away with. Microsoft, for example, frequently restricts your legal ability
to publish benchmarks for their software.

No, software under the GPL is not in the public domain. I make no
apologies for that. GPLed software is copyrighted, and supplied under a
licence where the software users are FREE (there's the word that you think
people don't understand) to use the software any way they like, FREE to
redistribute it, FREE to publish benchmarks, FREE to copy it, FREE
to create derivative works, and FREE to give it away for FREE, so long as
the user lives by a simple rule: whatever freedoms the GPL licence gives
you, you may not take away from the people you distribute the software too.

The success of things like Python -- which is not GPL licensed, afaik
-- pretty much proves the GPL is unnecessary for the success of free
projects. The GPL is just some bizarre social agenda being pushed by
some crazies, and a lot of programmers (who are not lawyers) fell for
the hippie nonsense.
Ah, I see -- trolling. All that commie pinko nonsense about Free
Speech by the Founding Fathers, all just hippie crap, right?

So, you may like to bandy around the mildly offensive "free as in
freeloading", but then that gives me the right to refer to GPL'd
software as "free as in pushing my personal social agenda".


Of course you are FREE to do so, and I won't even charge you. That doesn't
make what you say meaningful.

Is the Python licence not "pushing my personal social agenda" too? What
about proprietary licences that prohibit making backup copies? Doesn't
that push a social agenda too, an agenda to make it expected that every
time your software needs to be reinstalled you have to go out a buy a new
one?

--
Steven.

Nov 23 '05 #16

P: n/a
Paul Boddie <pa**@boddie.org.uk> wrote:
It's interesting that you bring this tired thought experiment up in the
context of the original remark: "Its license is far more "free" than
GPL is." If we were focusing on the "vox pop" interpretation of the
word "free", that remark wouldn't make any sense at all: after all,
what's more gratis than gratis (to use a less ambiguous word)?
My only intention was to point out that "Free Software" is a rather
misleading term.

I still think of the term "Free Software" as false advertising.
Python is moderately successful, yes, but the GPL is a useful tool to
ensure that certain freedoms are preserved. I've been made aware of a
certain level of dissatisfaction about whether organisations porting
Python to other platforms would choose to share their modifications and
improvements with anyone, or whether binary downloads with restrictive
usage conditions would be the best even the customers of such
organisations would be able to enjoy. Ensuring some of those freedoms
can be an effective way of making open source software projects
successful.
I'm aware of this concern. I don't think it's justified. Unless
you'd like to point out all those closed, proprietary Python
implementations that are destroying civilization as we know it.
At least when it comes to software licensing, what probably upsets the
anti-GPL "pragmatic licensing" crowd the most is that Stallman is quite
often right; the BitKeeper debacle possibly being one of the more
high-profile cases of some group's "pragmatism" (or more accurately,
apathy) serving up a big shock long after they'd presumably dismissed
"the hippie nonsense".
Stallman thinks selling closed, proprietary software is evil.
Stallman thinks buying closed, proprietary software is evil.

I find these opinions and "morals" fundamentally and obviously wrong.
Well, from what I've seen of open source software usage in business, a
key motivation is to freeload, clearly driven by people who neither see
nor understand any other dimension of software freedom than your "vox
pop" definition. Such users of open source software could make their
work a lot easier if they contributed back to the projects from which
they obtained the software, but I've seen little understanding of such
matters. Of course, businesses prefer to use euphemisms like "cost
reduction" or "price efficiency" rather than the more accurate
"freeloading" term, and they fail to see any long-term benefits in
anything other than zero cost, zero sharing acquisition and
redistribution of code. But then in some sectors, the game is all about
selling the same solution over and over again to the same customers, so
it's almost understandable that old habits remain.
Wah, wah, I gave this software away for free, and people are actually
using it without giving anything back! Wah, wah!
but then that gives me the right to refer to GPL'd software as "free as in pushing my
personal social agenda".

Pushing on whom, though? No-one makes you use GPL'd software by, for
example, installing it on almost every computer you can buy from major
vendors. If, on the other hand, you mean that some social agenda is
being imposed on you because, in choosing to redistribute someone's
work, you are obliged to pass on those freedoms granted to you by the
creator (or distributor) of that work, then complaining about it seems
little more than a foot-stamping exercise than anything else.


Now you're just trying to put words into my mouth.

I never said anything was being "pushed on" me. I never said anything
was being "imposed on" me. I said an agenda was being pushed.
Stallman and company have an agenda, and the GPL is their instrument
of choice for pushing that agenda.
Nov 23 '05 #17

P: n/a
Grow up, Steven.
Nov 24 '05 #18

P: n/a
Take your off-topic argument off-list.

--
Robert Kern
ro*********@gmail.com

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
-- Richard Harter

Nov 24 '05 #19

P: n/a
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
Really? So when I take my GPLed software, and legally install it on
100 PCs without paying one single cent for licence fees, it isn't free of
cost?

You a living in a strange and mysterious world, where things that cost
nothing aren't free.


Many definitions of "cost" include things that go beyond mere *monetary*
value.

Watching a given program on TV might be called "free" by some, but if I
have to suffer through commercials I don't consider it free. Heck, I
despise MSN Messenger and avoided the "free" Opera** because they aren't
"free" for me, loaded with advertisements that flash in my face and
distract me all the time.

I'm just highlighting how discussions of this nature which spend a lot
of time revolving around narrow and non-shared definitions of words can
really waste a lot of time...

-Peter

** Apparently I'm not alone as I understand the latest Opera is entirely
"free" of advertisements as well.

Nov 24 '05 #20

P: n/a
Ed Jensen wrote:
Paul Boddie <pa**@boddie.org.uk> wrote:
It's interesting that you bring this tired thought experiment up in the
context of the original remark: "Its license is far more "free" than
GPL is." If we were focusing on the "vox pop" interpretation of the
word "free", that remark wouldn't make any sense at all: after all,
what's more gratis than gratis (to use a less ambiguous word)?

My only intention was to point out that "Free Software" is a rather
misleading term.

I still think of the term "Free Software" as false advertising.

I'm FREE to use the software, FREE to redistribute it,
FREE to give it away, FREE to make derivative works,
FREE to transfer the licence, *and* I got it FREE of
cost as well, but that doesn't make it free.

Not on Bizarro World at least.

--
Steven.

Nov 24 '05 #21

P: n/a
Ed Jensen wrote:
Grow up, Steven.


Sure -- when you convince me that products that are
FREE of cost and allow FREE usage is "not free", I'll
stop pointing out that your claims that FREE software
is "false advertising" are incoherent.
--
Steven.

Nov 24 '05 #22

P: n/a
Robert Kern wrote:
Take your off-topic argument off-list.


You don't think questions of the legality of when and
how you can write and distribute Python programs are of
interest to Python developers?

Fair enough I suppose. Who cares what the licences say,
we're all just going to break them anyway.
--
Steven.

Nov 24 '05 #23

P: n/a

Steve Holden wrote:
Whether or not some fragments of code remain unchanged at the end of
your project, if you start out with a piece of source code lifted from
wxPython then what you have created is definitely a "derivative work"
and, as such, you must take into account the wxPython license in your
licensing of the derivative work.

Is that true ? What if I remove/replace the copyright doubtful portion
with another implementation ? I believe this happens all the time in
commerical software sue too.

Nov 24 '05 #24

P: n/a
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
Robert Kern wrote:
Take your off-topic argument off-list.


You don't think questions of the legality of when and
how you can write and distribute Python programs are of
interest to Python developers?


The OP's question certainly was on-topic. The argument over whether the
GPL is "freer" than some other license is not. It doesn't even fit the
description you give above. I don't mind off-topic threads so much, but
when they devolve into mere shouting matches like this one, they need to
be taken into private email or some other appropriate forum.

--
Robert Kern
ro*********@gmail.com

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
-- Richard Harter

Nov 24 '05 #25

P: n/a
bo****@gmail.com wrote:
Steve Holden wrote:
Whether or not some fragments of code remain unchanged at the end of
your project, if you start out with a piece of source code lifted from
wxPython then what you have created is definitely a "derivative work"
and, as such, you must take into account the wxPython license in your
licensing of the derivative work.


Is that true ? What if I remove/replace the copyright doubtful portion
with another implementation ? I believe this happens all the time in
commerical software sue too.

Well I suppose I'd argue that if you include a piece of source code and
then remove it, your product didn't really "start out" with it, but this
is mere detail.

The thrust of my original remarks was to try to persuade the OP that the
original comment about changing the code was ingenuous. If you take some
code under license as a starting point then even if no line of code
remains unchanged at the end of the process your code is arguably a
derivative work of the original.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006 www.python.org/pycon/

Nov 24 '05 #26

P: n/a
"bo****@gmail.com" <bo****@gmail.com> writes:
Steve Holden wrote:
Whether or not some fragments of code remain unchanged at the end of
your project, if you start out with a piece of source code lifted from
wxPython then what you have created is definitely a "derivative work"
and, as such, you must take into account the wxPython license in your
licensing of the derivative work.

Is that true ? What if I remove/replace the copyright doubtful portion
with another implementation ? I believe this happens all the time in
commerical software sue too.


In general, if you can show you removed all the licensed code that was
in your code, and replaced it with software from another source,
you're cool. That's how the BSD distributions came about - Berkeley's
Computer Systems Research Group rewrote pretty much all of Unix.

However, you're still liable to be sued. CSRG was, which is part of
why BSD languished while Linux was taking off. It's also why the
previous paragraph is a gross oversimplification. The court case
didn't establish a real precedent, as it turned out AT&T was
distributing code that belonged to CSRG in violation of the BSD
license. So they reached a settlement in which CSRG was allowed to
distribute a tape that had most of a Unix sytem on it, a few key files
that AT&T claimed as their own being withheld. This is the "BSD Lite"
distribution that the *BSD systems and parts of OS X are based on. All
this backstory made the SCO barratry much more entertaining.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 24 '05 #27

P: n/a
Steve Holden wrote:
The thrust of my original remarks was to try to persuade the OP that the
original comment about changing the code was ingenuous. If you take some
code under license as a starting point then even if no line of code
remains unchanged at the end of the process your code is arguably a
derivative work of the original.


"Derivative work" is not a well-formed concept. Many
copyright lawyers have made many fortunes arguing
whether or not this work or that work is a derivative
work of some other.

--
Steven.

Nov 24 '05 #28

P: n/a

Mike Meyer wrote:
"bo****@gmail.com" <bo****@gmail.com> writes:
Steve Holden wrote:
Whether or not some fragments of code remain unchanged at the end of
your project, if you start out with a piece of source code lifted from
wxPython then what you have created is definitely a "derivative work"
and, as such, you must take into account the wxPython license in your
licensing of the derivative work.

Is that true ? What if I remove/replace the copyright doubtful portion
with another implementation ? I believe this happens all the time in
commerical software sue too.


In general, if you can show you removed all the licensed code that was
in your code, and replaced it with software from another source,
you're cool. That's how the BSD distributions came about - Berkeley's
Computer Systems Research Group rewrote pretty much all of Unix.

However, you're still liable to be sued. CSRG was, which is part of
why BSD languished while Linux was taking off. It's also why the
previous paragraph is a gross oversimplification. The court case
didn't establish a real precedent, as it turned out AT&T was
distributing code that belonged to CSRG in violation of the BSD
license. So they reached a settlement in which CSRG was allowed to
distribute a tape that had most of a Unix sytem on it, a few key files
that AT&T claimed as their own being withheld. This is the "BSD Lite"
distribution that the *BSD systems and parts of OS X are based on. All
this backstory made the SCO barratry much more entertaining.

Thanks, I was just trying to clarify it. As my initially understanding
of Steve's post is that your work would be perpetual derivative work
which doesn't sound too convincing for me.

As for the liability, that is for sure, withness what is happening for
the linux kernel.

Nov 24 '05 #29

P: n/a
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
Steve Holden wrote:

The thrust of my original remarks was to try to persuade the OP that the
original comment about changing the code was ingenuous. If you take some
code under license as a starting point then even if no line of code
remains unchanged at the end of the process your code is arguably a
derivative work of the original.

"Derivative work" is not a well-formed concept. Many
copyright lawyers have made many fortunes arguing
whether or not this work or that work is a derivative
work of some other.

Hence my use of the word "arguably".

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006 www.python.org/pycon/

Nov 24 '05 #30

P: n/a
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
<cut>
I'm FREE to use the software, FREE to redistribute it, FREE to give it
away, FREE to make derivative works, FREE to transfer the licence, *and*
I got it FREE of cost as well, but that doesn't make it free.


Indeed, when I explain GPL to non-techies and what their (RMS)
interpretation of free software is I usually ask first if they know what
IP (Intellectual Property not Internet Protocol) is and what the
difference is between that and other legals stuff like Copyright and
Trademarks.

Then I make sure we have the same definition about Software and what I
mean with the word Public in the context of software.

After that I define GPL as:
Obligatory Public Intellectual Property Software

If the non-techie is still interested, I'll rave on about that I
understand why GPL is a good way to ensure availability of IP especially
if the software is a collaborated effort in the academic scene.
And that I probably use that if I made software for my employer (a
Foundation founded by multiple High-Schools) but that deeply personal
I'll stick to the beerware license, because I fully agree on PHK license
vision.

--
mph
Nov 24 '05 #31

P: n/a
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 00:26:36 -0800, bo****@gmail.com wrote:
As for the liability, that is for sure, withness what is happening for
the linux kernel.


What is happening for the Linux kernel?
--
Steven.

Nov 24 '05 #32

P: n/a
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 00:26:36 -0800, bo****@gmail.com wrote:
As for the liability, that is for sure, withness what is happening for
the linux kernel.


What is happening for the Linux kernel?


The confidence of some of its (potential? gullible?) users in their
ability to use it without being sued is being eroded by crafty negative
marketing by Microsoft and others.

-Peter

Nov 24 '05 #33

P: n/a

Peter Hansen wrote:
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 00:26:36 -0800, bo****@gmail.com wrote:
As for the liability, that is for sure, withness what is happening for
the linux kernel.


What is happening for the Linux kernel?


The confidence of some of its (potential? gullible?) users in their
ability to use it without being sued is being eroded by crafty negative
marketing by Microsoft and others.

I meant the SCO saga, don't know if you are referring the same thing.

Nov 24 '05 #34

P: n/a
"bo****@gmail.com" <bo****@gmail.com> writes:
I meant the SCO saga, don't know if you are referring the same thing.


Probably. MS bought some shares from SCO to help financing the lawsuit.

Anyway, I don't see much people worrying about it and in fact, I see more
people laughing about SCO's mistakes and wrong information / facts...

--
Jorge Godoy <go***@ieee.org>
Nov 24 '05 #35

P: n/a
Ed Jensen wrote:

[On closed source derivatives of Python]
I'm aware of this concern. I don't think it's justified. Unless
you'd like to point out all those closed, proprietary Python
implementations that are destroying civilization as we know it.
Well, there was some concern voiced at EuroPython that a certain large
software-patent-lobbying organisation wouldn't release the shiny port
of Python that they'd done for their mobile telephone products. Now,
one can either emulate that well-practised foot-stamping routine of
yours...
Wah, wah, I gave this software away for free, and people are actually
using it without giving anything back! Wah, wah!
....or one can question the suitability or otherwise of the Python
licence. Since licences define the type of sharing and community around
a project, one has to be careful in choosing a licence in order to get
the kind of sharing and community that one wants.

In another recent licensing spat, some people are apparently unhappy
with one Python-related project's use of the GPL, since the code they
originally contributed to an older, related project ends up being
redistributed under the GPL in the former project whereas the latter
project cannot redistribute the former project's original code without
putting a GPL licence on the distributed work. Now, if the latter
project, with its advantage of having come into existence first had
chosen a GPL-incompatible licence, it's quite possible that they would
have avoided the situation that some seem to bemoan, but then one has
to consider the likelihood that people actually do want GPL
compatibility in their favourite open source projects.

My point about the freeloading was that business understandably likes
to do it. I don't feel any sympathy for participants in various Apache
projects that are hugely popular in business, for example, if those
participants dislike the lack of contributions from those companies
using their software to make money, because those who founded those
projects made a conscious licensing decision and that decision defines
the kind of sharing (or otherwise) around such projects.
I never said anything was being "pushed on" me. I never said anything
was being "imposed on" me. I said an agenda was being pushed.
Stallman and company have an agenda, and the GPL is their instrument
of choice for pushing that agenda.


So if you're not personally affected, as you claim, why does it bother
you?

Paul

Nov 24 '05 #36

P: n/a
"Martin P. Hellwig" <mh******@xs4all.nl> writes:
If the non-techie is still interested, I'll rave on about that I
understand why GPL is a good way to ensure availability of IP
especially if the software is a collaborated effort in the academic
scene.


Your comment about the GPL "ensuring availability" would imply that
other-licensed software has a tendency to become unavailable. Do you
know of any examples of such?

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 24 '05 #37

P: n/a
Mike Meyer wrote:
"Martin P. Hellwig" <mh******@xs4all.nl> writes:
If the non-techie is still interested, I'll rave on about that I
understand why GPL is a good way to ensure availability of IP
especially if the software is a collaborated effort in the academic
scene.


Your comment about the GPL "ensuring availability" would imply that
other-licensed software has a tendency to become unavailable. Do you
know of any examples of such?

<mike


Yes, it happens on a regular bases that *BSD's are ported to a
particular platform or devices and that the necessary changes to make it
work that way are not released back (eg Ironport mail systems). Other
examples are extensions of other software to fill a particular need that
are kept close for a binary only sale (eg Mammoth PostgreSQL +
Replication).

There are numerous other examples, most of them are "company secrets".

Note that I do not have any objections to it, if I owned a company
making profit on software sales (sale =! support) you sign a death wish
for using GPL, if it's coupled with a device then things are different.
If you sell support, GPL is a wonderful way to maximize your income.

--
mph
Nov 24 '05 #38

P: n/a
"Martin P. Hellwig" <mh******@xs4all.nl> writes:
"Martin P. Hellwig" <mh******@xs4all.nl> writes:
If the non-techie is still interested, I'll rave on about that I
understand why GPL is a good way to ensure availability of IP
especially if the software is a collaborated effort in the academic
scene.

Your comment about the GPL "ensuring availability" would imply that
other-licensed software has a tendency to become unavailable. Do you
know of any examples of such?

Yes, it happens on a regular bases that *BSD's are ported to a
particular platform or devices and that the necessary changes to make
it work that way are not released back (eg Ironport mail
systems). Other examples are extensions of other software to fill a
particular need that are kept close for a binary only sale (eg Mammoth
PostgreSQL + Replication).


Is that software really unavailable, or just unavailable for free? If
the latter, then it's not unavailabe. If the former, the it didn't
become unavailable, as it was never available in the first place.
In the latter case, you could also use those examples to similarly
"prove" that non-GPL'ed software is a "good way to ensure the
availability of IP", as the developers of those IPs obviously felt
that the ability to restrict distribution in some way was needed to
make the effort of developing and distributing the software in the
first place worthwhile.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 24 '05 #39

P: n/a
Mike Meyer wrote:
<cut>

Is that software really unavailable, or just unavailable for free? If
the latter, then it's not unavailabe. If the former, the it didn't
become unavailable, as it was never available in the first place.
In the latter case, you could also use those examples to similarly
"prove" that non-GPL'ed software is a "good way to ensure the
availability of IP", as the developers of those IPs obviously felt
that the ability to restrict distribution in some way was needed to
make the effort of developing and distributing the software in the
first place worthwhile.


I agree that your opinions are based on a valid points, however, not
available for free means it has a price tag, which means that a normal
'small' price tag for western society excludes +75% of the world
population for that product (sure most of them don't want/need it
anyway, what good is software without hardware).

Those who can not afford the software are excluded for that end product
even though they may have worked on the source where 99,99% of the
restricted licensed software is based on.

However I make a poor defender for the GPL because, as you can read in
my previous posts, I don't really believe in it.

--
mph

Nov 24 '05 #40

P: n/a
"Martin P. Hellwig" <mh******@xs4all.nl> writes:
Those who can not afford the software are excluded for that end
product even though they may have worked on the source where 99,99% of
the restricted licensed software is based on.
Well, they chose to make it available to others for reuse. But
software "unavailable to those who can't afford it" is better than "no
software at all"
However I make a poor defender for the GPL because, as you can read in
my previous posts, I don't really believe in it.


The question is wether or not it believes in you :-)

I believe in GPL'ed software - I use it regularly. On the other hand,
I don't believe that it represents the best license to release
software if the goal is to improve the lot of humanity. The
restrictions are on "distribution", not on use, so it doesn't really
keep people from using said software commercially. For instance, one
or more of your examples may have been worth developing for internal
use. They then decided there was a profit to be made in distributing
it commercially, and proceeded to do so because they could. Without
the profit motive, they may not have done the extra work involved in
preparing the IP for distribution and doing the distribution.

Personally, I release stuff under a BSD-like license, historically
having included requirements that I be notified of bug fixes, and/or
that I be given copies of commercial software that included my code. I
eventually gave up on them as unenforceable.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 24 '05 #41

P: n/a
Mike Meyer wrote:
<cut>

Well, they chose to make it available to others for reuse. But
software "unavailable to those who can't afford it" is better than "no
software at all"
That I do not agree with, I think it depends on which your side of the
fence you are.

For instance I have a specific problem, there are currently 2 product
available that come close to solving it, one costs $24,999 and the other
is above that. That is about $23,999 above what I can afford to solve my
problem, so I have the option to leave the problem as it is or try to
tackle it myself.

Stubborn that I am, I am currently creating my own solution, knowing
well that other solutions exist and I can only make a poor copy of those
already existing effort
However I make a poor defender for the GPL because, as you can read in
my previous posts, I don't really believe in it.
The question is wether or not it believes in you :-)

I believe in GPL'ed software - I use it regularly. On the other hand,
I don't believe that it represents the best license to release
software if the goal is to improve the lot of humanity. The
restrictions are on "distribution", not on use, so it doesn't really
keep people from using said software commercially. For instance, one
or more of your examples may have been worth developing for internal
use. They then decided there was a profit to be made in distributing
it commercially, and proceeded to do so because they could. Without
the profit motive, they may not have done the extra work involved in
preparing the IP for distribution and doing the distribution.


Yeah well, GPL works reasonable well but perhaps not for what it was
intended.

Personally, I release stuff under a BSD-like license, historically
having included requirements that I be notified of bug fixes, and/or
that I be given copies of commercial software that included my code. I
eventually gave up on them as unenforceable.


Thats the trouble with restrictions, how do you enforce them, with
license I don't found it worth the hazzle. BSD/MIT style license is a
good substitute of no license at all.

--
mph
Nov 24 '05 #42

P: n/a
"Martin P. Hellwig" <mh******@xs4all.nl> writes:
Mike Meyer wrote:
<cut>
Well, they chose to make it available to others for reuse. But
software "unavailable to those who can't afford it" is better than "no
software at all"

That I do not agree with, I think it depends on which your side of the
fence you are.


Actually, I think I underspecified the statement. "Better for who" is
the question. No software is the same as software you can't afford. On
the other hand, so long as the price is lower than the cost of
recreating the software for someone, then it's better for society as a
whole if it exists at all.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 24 '05 #43

P: n/a
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> writes:
On the other hand, so long as the price is lower than the cost of
recreating the software for someone, then it's better for society as
a whole if it exists at all.


I don't think that's correct. Having nothing can be better than
having something, because then there's an opening to fill. The price
isn't even an issue: it happens even with free programs. If someone
needs an XYZ program and none exists, maybe they'll write a good one
and release it. But if a bad XYZ program already exists, they'll use
that despite its deficiencies. Thus we have Windows.
Nov 24 '05 #44

P: n/a
Paul Rubin <http://ph****@NOSPAM.invalid> writes:
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> writes:
On the other hand, so long as the price is lower than the cost of
recreating the software for someone, then it's better for society as
a whole if it exists at all.

I don't think that's correct. Having nothing can be better than
having something, because then there's an opening to fill. The price
isn't even an issue: it happens even with free programs. If someone
needs an XYZ program and none exists, maybe they'll write a good one
and release it. But if a bad XYZ program already exists, they'll use
that despite its deficiencies. Thus we have Windows.


They'll only use a commmercial program if they can afford it (or are
willing to steal it). And if it's bad enough - in their estimation -
they won't usee it despite it's deficiencies, they'll act as if it
doesn't exist - and maybe write a good one and release it. Thus we
have Linux and the *BSDs.

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 25 '05 #45

P: n/a
Paul Boddie <pa**@boddie.org.uk> wrote:
I'm aware of this concern. I don't think it's justified. Unless
you'd like to point out all those closed, proprietary Python
implementations that are destroying civilization as we know it.
Well, there was some concern voiced at EuroPython that a certain large
software-patent-lobbying organisation wouldn't release the shiny port
of Python that they'd done for their mobile telephone products. Now,
one can either emulate that well-practised foot-stamping routine of
yours...
Has this seriously harmed the Python community? Or CPython? Has it
caused evolution of Python/CPython to stall? Did it have the
unfortunate consequence of causing any CPython code to become closed
source or proprietary?

Show me the harm done.
In another recent licensing spat, some people are apparently unhappy
with one Python-related project's use of the GPL, since the code they
originally contributed to an older, related project ends up being
redistributed under the GPL in the former project whereas the latter
project cannot redistribute the former project's original code without
putting a GPL licence on the distributed work. Now, if the latter
project, with its advantage of having come into existence first had
chosen a GPL-incompatible licence, it's quite possible that they would
have avoided the situation that some seem to bemoan, but then one has
to consider the likelihood that people actually do want GPL
compatibility in their favourite open source projects.
I agree that mixing and matching licenses can be a problem, which is
yet another reason I lament the proliferation of source code licenses.

It's like a whole generation of software developers have become
armchair lawyers, which I find unfortunate. Think how much farther
along free software could be if all this energy and concern weren't
expended on source code licenses.
My point about the freeloading was that business understandably likes
to do it. I don't feel any sympathy for participants in various Apache
projects that are hugely popular in business, for example, if those
participants dislike the lack of contributions from those companies
using their software to make money, because those who founded those
projects made a conscious licensing decision and that decision defines
the kind of sharing (or otherwise) around such projects.
I don't feel sorry for them either, and I don't think they feel sorry
for themselves. And the success of projects like Apache are even more
proof, in my opinion, that heavy handed licenses like the GPL aren't
necessary for the success of free software projects.
So if you're not personally affected, as you claim, why does it bother
you?


Because I think a lot of well meaning software developers writing free
software don't performance due diligence to determine the true
motivation behind, and the chilling effect of, the GPL.
Nov 25 '05 #46

P: n/a
Ed Jensen wrote:

[On proprietary ports of Python...]
Show me the harm done.
We'll have to wait and see what happens. There's a risk that versions
of Python with different semantics or characteristics to the original
could cause the development of parallel communities, instead of
everyone working on/with the same project. The "harm done" is
adequately described by paraphrasing your comment on licences: think
how much farther along free software could be if all this energy and
concern weren't expended on separate and sometimes proprietary code
bases.
Because I think a lot of well meaning software developers writing free
software don't performance due diligence to determine the true
motivation behind, and the chilling effect of, the GPL.


Well, despite your protestations, I think the GPL and LGPL are fairly
easy and safe choices for a lot of developers who know enough about
Free Software (ie. haven't just seen the name and thought "that's the
thing for me"), know what the characteristics of those licences are,
and who don't have the time or legal experience to "performance due
diligence".

Meanwhile, all this "hippie" and "chilling effect" talk is, I imagine,
like having a discussion on software licensing with some cold war
propagandist.

Paul

Nov 25 '05 #47

P: n/a
Paul Boddie <pa**@boddie.org.uk> wrote:
We'll have to wait and see what happens. There's a risk that versions
of Python with different semantics or characteristics to the original
could cause the development of parallel communities, instead of
everyone working on/with the same project. The "harm done" is
adequately described by paraphrasing your comment on licences: think
how much farther along free software could be if all this energy and
concern weren't expended on separate and sometimes proprietary code
bases.
I think free software/open source has existed long enough and with
enough varied licenses (GPL, LGPL, modified LGPL (see wxWidgets), BSD,
X11, MIT, Apache, etc.) that we'd basically know without question if
less restritive licenses (like BSD) were causing projects to fail vs.
projects that use very heavy handed licenses (like GPL). Apache and
Python are two of my favorite examples, followed by the *BSD operating
systems.
Well, despite your protestations, I think the GPL and LGPL are fairly
easy and safe choices for a lot of developers who know enough about
Free Software (ie. haven't just seen the name and thought "that's the
thing for me"), know what the characteristics of those licences are,
and who don't have the time or legal experience to "performance due
diligence".
To be honest, I don't dislike the LGPL that much. The static vs.
dynamic linking issues bother me somewhat (which is why I like the
modified LGPL used by wxWidgets), but all in all, I can live (albeit
uncomfortably) with LGPL. It seems much more sane. Whereas including
one line of GPL code into your 10,000,000,000 line project can have
disasterous consequences (which I find ridiculous), at least with LGPL
you're only asked to share the changes you've made to that particular
library.
Meanwhile, all this "hippie" and "chilling effect" talk is, I imagine,
like having a discussion on software licensing with some cold war
propagandist.


Sorry for my initial post on this subject being flamey. I must've
been cranky that day, and I'm glad we were able to continue the
discussion. :)
Nov 25 '05 #48

P: n/a
Ed Jensen a écrit :
Well, despite your protestations, I think the GPL and LGPL are fairly
easy and safe choices for a lot of developers who know enough about
Free Software (ie. haven't just seen the name and thought "that's the
thing for me"), know what the characteristics of those licences are,
and who don't have the time or legal experience to "performance due
diligence".

To be honest, I don't dislike the LGPL that much. The static vs.
dynamic linking issues bother me somewhat (which is why I like the
modified LGPL used by wxWidgets), but all in all, I can live (albeit
uncomfortably) with LGPL. It seems much more sane. Whereas including
one line of GPL code into your 10,000,000,000 line project can have
disasterous consequences (which I find ridiculous), at least with LGPL
you're only asked to share the changes you've made to that particular
library.


If you don't like the GPL, then by all means, *do not use GPL code !*

Please, I mean, when you use without authorisation some code in your
project, you are in trouble, no matter what licence the code was using.
Nov 25 '05 #49

P: n/a
"Paul Boddie" <pa**@boddie.org.uk> writes:
Ed Jensen wrote:
[On proprietary ports of Python...]
Show me the harm done.

We'll have to wait and see what happens. There's a risk that versions
of Python with different semantics or characteristics to the original
could cause the development of parallel communities, instead of
everyone working on/with the same project.


How are the proprietary forks any worse/more dangerous than the
open implementations of Python when it comes to such things? In other
words, what does the GPL do that prevents this forking?

<mike
--
Mike Meyer <mw*@mired.org> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
Nov 25 '05 #50

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