[sword-devel] Sword license

Jimmie Houchin sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 11:55:36 -0600

Chris Little wrote:
> On Thu, 16 Jan 2003, Jimmie Houchin wrote:
>>If I read the Sword/JSword source code and from that design/information 
>>write (port would be accurate?) classes, methods, etc. in Squeak to 
>>process Sword Modules would I be obligated to also use the GPL?
> If you write your own classes in Squeak to read Sword modules, you're not
> incorporating Sword GPL code into your work.  If you read our code to see
> how we do it and then write your own code to perform the same functions, 
> you're not violating our copyright.  At the very most this would come 
> under fair use as a reference for a similar but not derivative work.  (If 
> you were to copy the C++ code into Java classes then Java-ize it enough to 
> compile, that would be a derivative work and require GPL licensing, but I 
> suspect Smalltalk will require sufficient changes that you need to do a 
> complete re-write.)

Ok. With this understanding I will proceed forward as I can.
But I will either find or modify a license for this which contains the 
spirit of the GPL but is not viral to the entire Squeak image.

I do not have a problem with trying to protect Crosswire's/Sword's 
interest in this matter. I very much want an open Bible software.

> If you want to use Sword as a library of any sort (linked statically or 
> dynamically) it requires that your work be GPL since we are not LGPL 
> licensed.

Does this mean I could not use the Sword libraries as a plugin?
Would this also affect using the libraries via FFI in Squeak?

>>I hate to contribute to the proliferation of licenses. But is Crosswire 
>>open to such a variance for image based systems like Smalltalk?
>>ie: a dual license? I do not necessarily no which license would be most 
>>appropriate for Crosswire. The Squeak License makes no obligations for 
>>use of source. It is more close to the MIT or BSD licenses.
> There is very little possibility at this time that CrossWire would 
> consider a more free license, if that were an option to us.  We've got 
> enough problems with people abusing the license and creating derivative 
> works with no changes other than to put their own ad banners in and 
> replace the about box credits their their own names.  We also don't feel 
> much need to provide a mechanism for others' commercial exploitation of 
> Sword or ability to develop extensions incompatible with our work then 
> lock us out of those extensions.  But the simple fact at the moment is 
> that we use GPL code in Sword for which we do not own the copyright, so we 
> can't legally dual license.  (Not that I wouldn't appreciate getting rid 
> of such code and limiting our use of others' code to BSD licensed work so 
> that we can license closed development in select situations.)

Understood. I am not really to my understanding, not looking for a more 
free license. Only one which doesn't affect the rest of the Squeak 
environment. I don't believe the email program, web browser, mp3 player, 
solitaire game, etc. all inside of the Squeak image should become GPL 
simply because I am writing a Sword frontend.

I do not desire to open a door for commercial exploitation of Sword.
Which is why I would similarly license my work but in a Squeak/Smalltalk 
friendly manner.

Thanks for your help.

Jimmie Houchin