[sword-devel] Is sword going non-gpl or proprietory?

David Burry sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 8 Sep 2002 22:28:43 -0700

I don't think the main issue is open vs closed source (well to some it may
be) but I think the main issue for most copyright holders that distrust
sword is.... what the heck are the locked modules FOR if they're not legal?
If they're not legal, dump them until permission is granted so that they ARE

Even locked modules are still texts being sucked into a new format and
distributed without the copyright holder's permission.  And certain "key"
people have the keys (no pun intended), and do share them amongst themselves
for "testing" purposes...  _this_ is probably the main reason why some
copyright holders distrust sword...  in my opinion one way to gain their
trust is to never even accept a locked module until you have permission to
distribute it locked.  Some societies will always be untrusting and we can't
help that, but that at least may help this issue.

Also if someone invents a way to legally distribute the keys and pay
royalties, that would be another way that would gain a lot of trust.  But so
far we haven't needed this because we can get the keys ourselves for
"testing" purposes and then we don't need to invent such a process because
we have the keys and we the developers are happy.  This is a very selfish
attitude as well as makes us seem untrustworthy.   Darn, nobody's gonna send
me a key now... ;o)

Ok, I'm off my soap box, and ducking all the stuff you're gonna throw at
me... I don't mean to be disrespectful of anyone, just trying to think about
it from a copyright holder's perspective.  They simply see us as a bunch of
scary hackers that are into distributing texts illegally, some people on
this list really are (most of us aren't), and the way this locked module
thing is being handled even gives those copyright holders grounds for
thinking some more of us are who aren't.

Copyright holders want accountability, control, some legal entity to hold
responsible, and/or money, plain and simple, we're giving them very little
to none of these so far.  If a copyright holder said "give me a list of all
individuals who have downloaded and unlocked x module" could we answer?
Nope.  They want this kind of control over their works, at least some sort
of registration process so we can give an accurate count even if we don't
share personal details, along with the ability to pay a royalty and return
it to the copyright holder based on head count.

Many people on this list do find this royalty thing disgusting, and well,
that's it... therefore they distrust us too... plain and simple.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Reed" <glenn.r@ihug.co.nz>
To: <sword-devel@crosswire.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 9:29 PM
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] Is sword going non-gpl or proprietory?

> Hi,
> Thanks for clearing that up for me.  Well making it a little clearer
> > Well, first, there are no plans to license as anything other than GPL.
> > Second, there has never been any suggestion that we go to any license
> > is not open-source except by those who see this as a way of convincing
> > copyright holders that Sword is secure.
> You mention that there are some that suggest closed source as a means of
> getting the copyright holders on board.  Has this line been suggested by
> of the bible societies or by members of sword who have speculated that the
> attitude of bible societies might change "if ...... " ?
> If access to the source code is guaranteed then I guess this is a
> I would hate to see this project hijacked by commercial interests.
> What does surprise me is the "apparent" attitude of the bible societies
> towards this project.  At least from the (very) short time I have been
> following the issues surrounding this.  It seems that certain copyright
> modules are locked but more to the point that there is no way to purchase
> keys for these locked modules??  That there is this great distrust between
> the bible societies and sword.  To put it bluntly I am astonished that the
> bible societies want to put a stumbling block towards the spreading of the
> gospel.  Does anyone know how long active lobbying of the bible societies
> been happening?  And why it seems that so few of them have been willing to
> alter thier positiion???
> And perhaps as a corollary to the above issue, how will I as a developer
> access to the locked modules.  Also will any translation I contribute to
> sword, such as CLV, simply disappear into a void?
> Glenn Reed.
> On Monday 09 September 2002 04:13 pm, you wrote:
> > On Mon, 9 Sep 2002, Glenn Reed wrote:
> > > I read this from the mailing list.
> > >
> > > > > First it is GPL--this is
> > > > > the last GPL component in the library.  If it were replaced with
> > > > > something else, we could license Sword under non-GPL licenses to
> > > > > other entities (e.g. Bible societies that don't want to deal with
> > > > > GPL's restrictions) or put it out publicly under a license that we
> > > > > write that better meets our needs than the GPL.
> > >
> > > My feeling is that the great advantage of sword is that it is GPL.  If
> > > ever went closed source (perhaps due to pressure from certain bible
> > > societies??) I would be forced to pursue other options :(
> > >
> <snip>
> >
> > Just to re-iterate, we're not going closed source.
> >
> > --Chris