Author Topic: Open Source Licenses  (Read 7585 times)

Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2008, 07:33:55 PM »
That sounds interesting, could you say more about what it was you asked Carmack?

It was todd who responded to my e-mails.  Basically, me & someone were tossing around the idea of using the Q3A GPL engine & were interested in doing some things as DLL's instead of directly in the engine.  Partly because we didn't want to initially share that part, partly for convienance: if a part needs updating you don't need to update the whole game engine (like how ET:QW has separate dll's for the tools).  I'm 90% sure he asked john about it as that gets messy & the reply was we should check out the license specifics & contact someome who knows more about the GPL license.

Yeah, it gets tricky.  But in general, it seems that what you wanted to do with DLL's is NOT enough to escape the GPL, unless you somehow distributed your DLL's separately as some sort of "optional" plugin.

Quoting from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.txt  (emphasis added)

  "You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that
    in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License."


Quote
If you are the copyright holder, it's still your property.  You can release the source under GPL, and you can keep a closed source version that you modify yourself and don't release at all.  You could also release your source code under multiple licenses. 

If you're the copyright holder, you're not giving up any rights when you license your code.

Are you talking about if you made your own code & released a GPL version (like id) or if you used an already existing GPL code?  I was referring to the first. 

Yes.  When it's your own code, where you are the copyright holder:

I've never read anything in the licenses that allows you to release under a different license type, just newer versions of the current one if you desire.  If that was the case GPL/BSD would be pointless. :)  If I used GPL source & held on to it myself so nobody else could have the source then I could never release anything besides media/output.  But, if I, for example, gave you a copy to help, you're also bound to the GPL & you could give it away & there's no legal reason that I could prevent you.

I was referring to the source only.  I 100% understand that all the non-GPL'ed parts are your copyright (graphics, data, etc).  The GPL is the copyright, I give the right for anyone to copy/sell as they see fit. You're probley thinking of patent, but I could of sworn I read that the GPL covers that too: you can patent but you can't restrict people from using it, it is then under the GPL.

No.  The GPL is NOT the copyright.  It is a license providing terms placing restrictions on how other people can modify and distribute your code.  It has NOTHING to do with limiting your own ability to do whatever you want with your own code.  If you are the copyright holder, you can license your code under multiple licenses whenever you feel like it, and you can privately do whatever you want with modifying and distributing your own code (closed source or not) in any way you see fit.

When id licensed Quake2 under the GPL, that just applies to us, the non-copyright-holders.  id can still do whatever they want with their own code. :)


Regards,

quadz
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Offline [BTF]Defiant!

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2008, 12:23:41 AM »

I worked on a project where, after working with a lawyer, we decided to..
1) provide the GPL software on the media
2) allow the installing admin to run a script to load the library, thus making clear that it was an option and assuring the admin knew what and why was being installed.

At this point, however, I'm not sure that is adequate.

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Offline The Happy Friar

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2008, 05:24:54 AM »
No.  The GPL is NOT the copyright.  It is a license providing terms placing restrictions on how other people can modify and distribute your code.  It has NOTHING to do with limiting your own ability to do whatever you want with your own code.  If you are the copyright holder, you can license your code under multiple licenses whenever you feel like it, and you can privately do whatever you want with modifying and distributing your own code (closed source or not) in any way you see fit.
When id licensed Quake2 under the GPL, that just applies to us, the non-copyright-holders.  id can still do whatever they want with their own code. :)/quote]

but that goes against the US copyright law which says that once I make something, anything, it's mine & I can limit it however I want.  Once *I* modify GPL source that would fall under derative works & thus be my personal copyright.  But if I distribute the binary I must give away the source, under the GPL that I used, I can't attach a different license to it that would let me not distribute it.  Which would mean I can't have any copyrights to the work, or if I can, I must allow anyone the same right the GPL stated.

distribute = copying.

If I make my own, 100% original work I can attach any license to it I want, but that's only if i use 100% original work.  Once I inject some GPL source I loose all my personal rights to release it how I want.
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Offline QwazyWabbit

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2008, 09:37:51 AM »

If I make my own, 100% original work I can attach any license to it I want, but that's only if i use 100% original work.  Once I inject some GPL source I loose all my personal rights to release it how I want.

As I understand it, the GPL applies to the code published under the GPL. As a component module of your own code, only the GPL portion needs to be made available, for example a JPG library used in your own JPG viewer program with interface code written by you. The GPL would apply to any modifications you make to the original work that was published under the GPL.

On the other hand, if you modify a GPL program but it remains substantially what it was before your modifications, it's a derivative work and must be published under the GPL. Taking GPL code, you must acknowlege the original authors and you cannot copyright the derivative work because using the GPL code means you accepted their terms that you cannot copyright it as your own work except for the portion that is your own and then you must publish your changes under the terms of the GPL.

If your project is substantially your own and closed-source, using unmodified support modules that were GPL, you don't have to publish your closed source but you do have to provide the GPL source of the GPL modules upon request. This might help someone reverse your private code.

Of course, we have to discern between GPL 1, GPL2 and GPL3. I believe GPL3 is one of the knottiest (nuttiest) licenses around.

QW
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 09:43:34 AM by QwazyWabbit »
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Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2008, 12:34:47 PM »
When id licensed Quake2 under the GPL, that just applies to us, the non-copyright-holders.  id can still do whatever they want with their own code. :)
If I make my own, 100% original work I can attach any license to it I want, but that's only if i use 100% original work.

OK, I thought we had already established that we were talking about an original work where you are the copyright holder:

Are you talking about if you made your own code & released a GPL version (like id) or if you used an already existing GPL code?  I was referring to the first.
Yes.  When it's your own code, where you are the copyright holder


Once I inject some GPL source I loose all my personal rights to release it how I want.

Sort of.

But I think it's important to remember you never lose any rights to distribute your own code however you want.  If you "inject GPL source" into your project, then you are subject to the license terms governing the distribution of someone else's code.

It may sound like semantics, but I think it's an important distinction.  The GPL never causes you to lose rights to your own code.


Regards,

quadz

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Offline [BTF]Defiant!

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2008, 12:43:15 PM »
..
It may sound like semantics, but I think it's an important distinction.  The GPL never causes you to lose rights to your own code.
..

For example.  I create a new game.  I include a GPLed library in my game.  When I release, I need to include source to the library.  But, the question is, do I need to release source code to my entire game? 

If so, you don't lose any rights to your own work; except, you can lose the right to restrict distribution of our own works. 
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Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2008, 12:52:50 PM »
If your project is substantially your own and closed-source, using unmodified support modules that were GPL, you don't have to publish your closed source but you do have to provide the GPL source of the GPL modules upon request. This might help someone reverse your private code.

Whoa... That is not my understanding of the GPL at all.  What you've described above sounds closer to the LGPL.

The GPL is very clear that it does not allow distributing a closed source work along with GPL modules.

Consider the following, from the point of view of the license on the modules themselves:

  "This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into
  proprietary programs.  If your program is a subroutine library, you may
  consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the
  library.  If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Lesser General
  Public License instead of this License."
  ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.txt )


Of course, we have to discern between GPL 1, GPL2 and GPL3. I believe GPL3 is one of the knottiest (nuttiest) licenses around.

Yeah, I haven't even tried to understand v3 yet...  :dohdohdoh:


Regards,

quadz
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Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2008, 01:04:33 PM »
For example.  I create a new game.  I include a GPLed library in my game.  When I release, I need to include source to the library.  But, the question is, do I need to release source code to my entire game? 

The typical answer is yes. :)


If so, you don't lose any rights to your own work; except, you can lose the right to restrict distribution of our own works. 

Yes; I just think it's important to remember that my distribution rights became limited when I agreed to the license governing the use of someone else's code.  I'm always free to remove the GPL library and thus not be bound by that author's distribution terms.


Regards,

quadz

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Offline [BTF]Defiant!

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2008, 04:31:02 PM »
Yes; I just think it's important to remember that my distribution rights became limited when I agreed to the license governing the use of someone else's code.  I'm always free to remove the GPL library and thus not be bound by that author's distribution terms.

Right!
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Offline QwazyWabbit

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2008, 11:06:18 PM »
Which means that no program written on Linux or GNU or any one of myriad derivatives of Linux can be closed source. No perl programs, no Ruby programs, nothing based on the GNU CRT, nothing compiled with GCC can be closed source for the simple reason it depends on those modules for basic functionality and those modules are all GPL.
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Offline reaper

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2008, 12:00:48 AM »
I can identify my work, if I GPL it, and the software can load other non-GPL software - or work together with it, it doesn't mean my software can't be released under the GPL, or abide by it.

software interacts,  when you GPL your code you aren't talking about other code, like it or not.
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Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2008, 12:51:55 AM »
Which means that no program written on Linux or GNU or any one of myriad derivatives of Linux can be closed source. No perl programs, no Ruby programs, nothing based on the GNU CRT, nothing compiled with GCC can be closed source for the simple reason it depends on those modules for basic functionality and those modules are all GPL.

It's possible that a quick read of the license might clear this up... <grin>

There's a special exception for components that are normally distributed with an operating system:

  "For an executable work, complete source
  code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
  associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
  control compilation and installation of the executable.  However, as a
  special exception, the source code distributed need not include
  anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
  form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
  operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
  itself accompanies the executable."
  ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.txt )


Regards,

quadz

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Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2008, 01:44:55 AM »
I can identify my work, if I GPL it, and the software can load other non-GPL software - or work together with it, it doesn't mean my software can't be released under the GPL, or abide by it.

It would help me understand what you mean if you'd use more precise language.  The GPL is primarily concerned with what happens when copies are made of your software.  You're right in that the GPL doesn't limit what software your program can "work with" (if we are talking about separate programs working together, like the way rsync works with ssh.) 


software interacts,  when you GPL your code you aren't talking about other code, like it or not.

Again, I think we need to be more precise.  After all, the GPL contains many paragraphs devoted to illustrating just how, when you GPL your code, you are affecting the relationship between your code and other code.

So it all depends on how other software will be interacting with your GPL code.

If your program is like ssh, meant to be used by completely separate programs (like rsync, etc.), then I agree that ssh and rsync can have different, incompatible licenses.

But if your program is like libssl, meant to be linked with someone else's code and become part of a larger program, then choosing the GPL for your library defintely affects other software that would like to "interact" with your library. :)


Regards,

quadz

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Offline QwazyWabbit

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2008, 06:28:50 AM »
Which means that no program written on Linux or GNU or any one of myriad derivatives of Linux can be closed source. No perl programs, no Ruby programs, nothing based on the GNU CRT, nothing compiled with GCC can be closed source for the simple reason it depends on those modules for basic functionality and those modules are all GPL.

It's possible that a quick read of the license might clear this up... <grin>

There's a special exception for components that are normally distributed with an operating system:

  "For an executable work, complete source
  code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
  associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
  control compilation and installation of the executable.  However, as a
  special exception, the source code distributed need not include
  anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
  form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
  operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
  itself accompanies the executable."
  ( http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.txt )


Regards,

quadz



That only pertains to the requirements of what you must distribute with your code. They are merely saying, if your code runs on GNU Linux and depends on the the C runtime library that comes with GNU Linux, you don't have to include all that since the user has other means to obtain it. However, by your interpretation of the GPL, (and I am not saying it's wrong), a 100% original work that is based in and depends on the GNU C runtime or is compiled in GCC is automatically required to be released under the GPL and therefore cannot be closed source. This also pertains to scripts written in perl or Ruby or whatever, since those projects and foundations are GPL and any work depending on them must also be released under GPL in order to comply with the license. In other words, if you are going to write programs in the GPL Linux environment, all your programs are automatically GPL and you must provide sources upon request, otherwise you are in violation of the GPL.
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Offline quadz

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Re: Open Source Licenses
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2008, 10:35:30 AM »
That only pertains to the requirements of what you must distribute with your code. They are merely saying, if your code runs on GNU Linux and depends on the the C runtime library that comes with GNU Linux, you don't have to include all that since the user has other means to obtain it. However, by your interpretation of the GPL, (and I am not saying it's wrong), a 100% original work that is based in and depends on the GNU C runtime or is compiled in GCC is automatically required to be released under the GPL and therefore cannot be closed source. This also pertains to scripts written in perl or Ruby or whatever, since those projects and foundations are GPL and any work depending on them must also be released under GPL in order to comply with the license. In other words, if you are going to write programs in the GPL Linux environment, all your programs are automatically GPL and you must provide sources upon request, otherwise you are in violation of the GPL.

Hehe... I can't say I agree that your characterization above is "my interpretation of the GPL". :)

My interpretation of the GPL, is that there's a reason it is commonly placed in a text file called COPYING.  Because restricting the act of copying or distributing a program is the linchpin of the whole mechanism of the GPL.  The special exception to need not distribute programs that are normally included with the operating system, is enough.  If you don't need to distribute those programs with yours, then you are avoiding the mechanism of the GPL that would require their license to extend to yours.

On an unrelated note, you stated above that the Perl and Ruby projects are GPL licensed, but that is not quite correct.  Perl uses the Artistic license, and Ruby is dual-licensed: Ruby license or GPL, take your pick.  (Have to be careful with Ruby, because it uses the GNU regexp engine by default... which is GPL... but one can substitute the Oniguruma regexp engine which is not GPL.)


Also...

nothing compiled with GCC can be closed source for the simple reason it depends on those modules for basic functionality and those modules are all GPL.

Compiling software with GCC is not an issue (even without the special exception for programs that are normally part of the operating system) because there's no dependency that would require distributing GCC along with programs that have been compiled by it.


Regards,

quadz

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