[sword-devel] Fwd: GPL and other license related questions

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 22:09:07 MST 2008

On Jan 26, 2008 6:19 PM, Jason Galyon <jtgalyon at gmail.com> wrote:
> Titus 3:10-11

Eh?  What exactly is your point here?  Trying to warn yourself about
your own behavior?

I may not speak for the rest of the people on the list, but my feeling
about the GPL are as follows:

When I put time or energy into working on the Sword library or other
related projects, I want that software to be free (as in beer) to
everyone.  I also do not want someone else to take my work and make it
non-free (as in beer) to anyone.  That is why I am working on software
which is free and I want to ensure that said software is free and that
no one takes my efforts and attempts to make a profit out of it.  Mind
you, I am not attempting to say that all software or even that all
scripture-related software should be free.  Simply that I am putting
energy and time and effort into this project, and I do not want anyone
to put it to a use that could cause someone to be required to pay for
the Word, because I refuse to let anyone earn money from me and my
toil for the kingdom.  There are other people who earn their living
that way, and that is wonderful - they are not of concern to me.

The GPL thus enforces the fact that anyone else who builds software
off of the backs of people who have contributed to the Sword project
is required to provide that software free-of-charge.  If you want the
software to be extremely free-as-in-speech, then you are opening up
the possibility that this software might be modified and used
corporately by someone to charge money for software which I have
labored to produce and desire to keep free of charge.  Thus, I prefer
to not work on Bible Software that works in the LGPL-like license
model and prefer to stick with the GPL-like model, as Sword has done.


> Chris Little wrote:
> > [Forwarding message per request. Sorry, I can't advise how to fix the
> > sending problem. --Chris]
> >
> > Begin forwarded message:
> >
> >
> >> From: Moses McKnight <moses at mcknightinstruments.com>
> >> Date: January 26, 2008 3:59:22 PM PST
> >> To: chrislit at crosswire.org
> >> Subject: Re: [sword-devel] GPL and other license related questions
> >>
> >> Hey Chris, I tried to send this to the list but it bounced with the
> >> following error:
> >>
> >> Diagnostic-Code: X-Postfix; host mail.crosswire.org[]
> >> said:
> >>    550-Verification failed for <moses at skytex.net> 550-Unrouteable
> >> address 550
> >>    Sender verify failed (in reply to RCPT TO command)
> >>
> >>
> >> Can you send it for me?  Or tell me what I need to do to send it?
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> Moses
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Jason Galyon wrote:
> >>
> >>> Chris Little wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> The only people who would consider the GPL "freedom destroying"
> >>>> are  people who only care about their own freedoms and not those
> >>>> of others  (i.e. selfish people). I don't think we care about
> >>>> their interests. We  certainly don't have any interest in having
> >>>> our work exploited by the  selfish, who would like to exploit our
> >>>> years of work for their own  personal, possibly monetary, gain.
> >>>>
> >>>> --Chris
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> This is full of angst and ignorance.  I would expect that of a
> >>> child but not a Christian.  If you can not develop a frontend (for
> >>> example) in whatever OSI approved license you choose then I believe
> >>> that is one of the many reasons why people see the GPL as viral and
> >>> freedom destroying.
> >>>
> >> I personally don't see the angst in Chris' post.  As for his
> >> argument I
> >> don't want to put words in his mouth but let me expand on it a little.
> >> The reason he can rightfully say that the people who would consider
> >> the
> >> GPL "freedom destroying" are selfish and care only about their own
> >> freedoms is this: They think they should have the right (freedom) to
> >> use
> >> someone else's software (time and labor) without recompense or
> >> restriction, but the people who wrote the software should not have the
> >> right or freedom to receive a recompense or place a restriction on
> >> their
> >> work.  This is the essence of slavery - someone else getting to use
> >> your
> >> time and labor any way want without recompense.
> >>
> >> Furthermore, to call the GPL viral is a misnomer at best and really
> >> indicative of the selfish attitude mentioned above.  If you don't like
> >> the license, don't use the software licensed that way.  Quite simple.
> >> Nothing "forces" you to use the software.  Your software is completely
> >> unaffected by the GPL if you don't use GPL software in it, and the GPL
> >> cannot possibly "infect" your software.  You must purposely use GPL
> >> software in your software in order to affected by it, therefore the
> >> GPL
> >> cannot be accurately called a "virus".  To do so is what I would
> >> expect
> >> of a child and not a Christian :-)  I would also say that the only
> >> people I have seen that call the GPL a virus and freedom destroying
> >> are
> >> either companies or individuals who want to use GPL software in their
> >> own commercial software and don't like the license.
> >>
> >>
> >>> Some look for the good of all and see GPL as not the best method to
> >>> reach those ends.
> >>>
> >> You may not intend to but the way this is worded gives the subtle
> >> implication that those who use the GPL are not looking for the good
> >> of all.
> >>
> >>
> >>> Again, there are other licenses out there and if you are forced to
> >>> only use GPL then read that again and notice the word "FORCE".
> >>> Lets try and be civil and take the rhetoric out.
> >>>
> >> As I mentioned above, no one is "forcing" anyone to use the GPL.  If
> >> you
> >> don't like it, don't use the software.  No one is "forcing" you to use
> >> the software either.  That's some of the rhetoric you mention...
> >>
> >> Moses
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
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