[sword-devel] GPL 3 licencing issues

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Tue Jul 17 03:10:09 MST 2007

On Mon, 16 Jul 2007, Chris Little wrote:

> Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
> > Any of us don't actually loose anything even if someone sells our
> > software illegally. Why should we then be bitter when we know that he is
> > responsible in front of God the Judge?
> I'm not looking to get a cut of the profits for myself or Troy or
> CrossWire or anything like that. And it's not that I would fight against
> someone selling the software if they obeyed the license and were
> forthcoming about its identity. But I do have issues with people who
> hide the fact that our software is free to download and hide the fact
> that we made it, as with ThinkAll, who slapped a $60 "retail" price on
> BibleCS. I guess I'm bitter about our users being ripped off.
> Also, historically, the two groups who distributed Sword illegally
> and/or against our wishes never updated their work. So they kept
> distributing work that was 1-2 versions behind. If we can prevent that,
> it's a service to our users.

I must say I agree with you. But still I doubt if changing the licence
is the right way to prevent abuse.

If those people sold the software illegally, why would different licence
stop them? If they didn't understand the licence and our wishes, we
could make these things clear in the copyright statement (now it just
states something like "this is free software, see GPL etc." I guess). If
they are not programmers we could add so clear copyright and "THIS
PROGRAM IS FREE" statements into the interactive user interface that
those "freeriders" wouldn't dare to sell it to ignorant users.

If they sell the software illegally against the licence, i.e. not giving
the source code and hiding the free origins, we should take actions, not
change the licence. I think that even GPL 2, not mentioning 3, makes it
clear enough that the origin of the software, the freedom of it, the
licence, and the source code must NOT be hidden. If there is any doubt
about that we could even ask from FSF. We could also tell the situation
to them and ask what would be the strongest possible restrictions under
GPL3 section 7 which still would be GPL3 compatible.

Can someone tell exactly how those thieves acted?

	Eeli Kaikkonen (Mr.), Oulu, Finland
	e-mail: eekaikko at mailx.studentx.oulux.fix (with no x)

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