[sword-devel] Sword license

Joe Walker sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 19:12:10 +0000

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.

I believe that a number of lawyers do not share your point of view. 
Microsoft programmers are banned from reading GPL code, and IBM AIX 
programmers are very separate from IBM Linux programmers specifically 
because they believe there can be copyright contamination in this case.

If I listened to a song and then went away and wrote something similar, 
I could well be infringing copyright, and I think programs work the same.

But like you I'm not a lawyer ...

HOWEVER in a way that is probably irrelevant because if you read any of 
the JSword code that I wrote then I'm totally happy for you to write a 
non-GPL, open source program based on it, and I'll copy this message to 
jsword-devel to see what Mark thinks - Mark's opinion here is more 
important than mine because he wrote more of the Java version of the 
Sword drivers than me.