[sword-devel] Sword license

Joe Walker sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 19:14:14 +0000

My understanding is that all the GPL obliges you to do is release the 
code under GPL. It does not stop you releasing it under the GPL AND 
another MIT/BSD style license (so long as there is no ad. clause conflict)
Many projects like Mozilla and MySQL (IIRC) are released under 2 licences.

So if there are questions of copyright polution as a result of reading 
JSword code, you may well be able to dual license. However IANAL of course.

I don't understand how there can be a problem for GPL code to link *TO* 
non-GPL code. The GPL uses the word "derived" and not "linked" and the 
standard copyright definition of "derived works" is a very one way process.
So I don't understand people that claim you can't have a GPL Java 
program because it has to link to non-GPL code. It sounds like Squeak 
might be the same.

However this might be getting a bit off topic.


Jimmie Houchin wrote:

> I have a question about the Sword license.
> From what I see the source code is GPL. In many instances I have no 
> problem with the GPL. In general I have no problem with Sword being GPL.
> 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?
> The reason I ask is because of the viral nature of the GPL. GPL is not 
> appropriate for any non-GPLed Smalltalk. Smalltalk source is in an 
> image. All of it is linked by GPL definition. Any use of GPL code in a 
> Smalltalk image compels the entire image to be GPLed. This is not 
> possible.
> I have no problem with whatever source I create/port being similarly 
> open and requirements for modifications and derivations also being 
> similarly licensed. The GPL itself cannot be used in Squeak. RMS has 
> so stated (from my understanding from mailing lists posts).
> 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.
> Thanks for any help in understanding my options.
> Jimmie Houchin
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