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

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 9 Sep 2002 13:40:17 -0700 (MST)

On Mon, 9 Sep 2002, Charles Carey wrote:

> >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 that
> >is not open-source except by those who see this as a way of convincing
> >copyright holders that Sword is secure.
> I've wondered (since I'm a Windows programmer ) if it would be effecient to
> tokenize a biblical text and put it into a DLL along with methods for
> retreiving text and locking the module.  The DLL code could be proprietary
> thus assuring copyright holder secruity and Sword could remain GPL. ???

Ewww.  DLLs are platform-dependant, so we shy away from things like that.

The problem with Sword isn't the security of the modules.  They are locked
tight.  You need the key in order to read them.  The only viable attacks
on our security are essentially brute force attacks.

But once you have the key, the library is open source, so there's not much 
you can do to prevent text from being used in whatever way a dedicated 
programmer wants to use them.  As Troy pointed out, our REAL problem has 
more to do with Bible societies already having deals in writing with 
others or (probably more often) the fact that we just don't have enough 
time to track down & contact all these people.

Our security is as good as any and better than most.  Most other programs 
don't even encrypt data.  So once you crack the software--you can unlock 

Closed source software (the new Logos & BibleSoft come to mind) can
prevent copy & paste or export of large portions.  BibleSoft's 
implementation is particularly onerous and makes the software mostly 
useless for even normal stuff.  It's pretty well impossible for us to 
prevent things like that.  But even with these programs, a dedicated 
individual could manually copy every little portion, and it only takes one 
person to release the book so it can be copied ad infinitum.  Other 
programs (that DO carry popular English translations like the NASB & NIV) 
put no such restrictions on exporting and still seem to make the copyright 
owners happy.  So since an export is sort of the worst case scenario, and 
it's already easy in most other software, security really shouldn't be 
seen as a problem for us.

Haven't we had this discussion about 3 times before?

Maybe it's time for a FAQ item.  Wait... wasn't there one?