[sword-devel] Sword license

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 11:51:14 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Jimmie Houchin wrote:

> > 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?

If you're using Sword code in another work, that work has to be GPLed.  
Plugins are still compiled & link GPL code, so they also have to be GPLed.  
I don't know what FFI is, but I imagine all these situations are verboten 
by GPL.

> 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.

GPL isn't quite this viral.  Licensing one program under GPL can't affect
the licenses of programs for which you don't even own a copyright.  I'm
not really clear on what these Squeak images are, but I don't think they
make as much difference as everyone seems to consider them to.  The
incompatabilities may be possible to slip through the system library
loophole in the GPL.  (If RMS really did comment on GPL/Squeak
incompatability then it sounds like he's seeing the speck in Squeak's eye
and ignoring the motes in GPL's.)

If we get the GPL stuff in Sword replaced, you might be able to talk Troy 
into granting you a non-GPL license for your particular work.  But linking 
a binary seems like it voids part of your intent in creating a 
cross-platform reader.

Can I mention again that I think an OSIS-based (be it native OSIS or some
kind of OSIS-derived indexed format) reader would be a really cool program
to write?  We've got export paths already written to convert most of our
module types to valid OSIS documents and Harry Plantinga at CCEL is
creating lots of OSIS documents from ThML ones too.  There should be
thousands of OSIS documents by the end of 2004, between CrossWire, CCEL,
ABS, and others contributing to efforts to create a library of texts.