[sword-devel] GPL issues (again, sorry)
Fri, 25 May 2001 00:59:37 -0700
This is in reply to both Chris and Paul.
>This was in
>response to the FSF's new GPL FAQ at
>http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl-faq.html, which answers most of our
I don't think the questions are really answered and won't be until a court
decides the issues. I think GPL has fallen into very muddy waters.
The GPL uses the phrases "contains or is derived from" and "any derivative
work under copyright law." If dynamic linking is found to produce a
derivative work, the GPL will mean what faq claims. But, different courts
have had different ideas of what a derivative work is. Anyway, I don't
think it is at all clear that any court would or would not say dynamic
linking is a derivative work. An article about this by a licensed attorney
for Open Source Initiative says dynamic linking should not produce a
derivative work. See
>And there's a concensus that neither static nor dynamic linking against a
>GPLed library is ever okay if your product is non-GPL.
Consensus? The new faq clearly says so, but that does not make it so.
>I'd suggest that we ensure that all our code is owned or relicenseable by
That should be considered. Also, same for anything that becomes part of the
web site. Though the web site is not a GPL issue.
>Why would you want to do this? IMO the strength of a GPL license is
>dependent to some extent on having multiple copyright holders. Personally,
>i would be reluctant to release code under such an arrangement. (Not that
>my vast contribution counts for anything. ;-)
Because, if Crosswire owns all rights, it can put everything out under
multiple licenses. If it only owns part, it can only release the parts it
owns under other licenses. If you are concerned that a work would not end
up as GPL, I believe you could release it as GPL first and then sign over
rights. That work would forever remain GPL but Crosswire would be able to
provide it in other ways also.