[sword-devel] GPL 3 licencing issues

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Mon Jul 16 12:32:12 MST 2007

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Jul 2007, Chris Little wrote:
>> Another option is to write a GPL (2 or 3) derivative license that adds
>> some additional restrictions to prevent some of the commercial abuses of
>> our software that we've seen in the past: restrictions against changing
>> the software title to hide its identity, restrictions against embedding
>> ad banners, a requirement that CrossWire be notified prior to
>> distribution of derivative works, etc.
> That would be a very bad idea. It would make Sword non-Free and would
> prohibit Linux distros like Debian distributing it. I definitely would
> stop developing BibleTime (and other Sword related software) after that.

Whether the license would still result in free software would depend on 
the actual license terms. Of the three examples I listed, only the 
second, if written as an explicit prohibition on the "freedom" to embed 
adware, would result in non-free software. The others are entirely 
permissible in free software, at least as defined by Debian.

I think I'd also add a requirement that distributors notify users that 
the software is free and include attribution and a link to CrossWire.


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