[sword-devel] need help on a project

jhphx jhphx at cox.net
Sun Jan 27 11:36:29 MST 2008

Wade Maxfield wrote:
>    The GPL has provisions in it that allow people to charge an 
> unspecified "transfer fee" for transferring the software to them.  
> Once they receive the software, they are free to take it, modify it, 
> and transfer the unmodified or newly modified code to a new person for 
> a fee.  That fee can be 1 million dollars, or zero cents.  It is 
> unspecified.  You can't stop that.  The built in protection is the 
> fact the source code must be transferred also, along with the license.

Obviously part of the GPL as long as all of the terms of the license are 
fallowed. This has long been understood here.

>     Note that people are free to modify the code, without your 
> permission or control, under the GPL.

As long as all the terms of the license are followed. This has long been 
understood here.

>     Unfortunately, your code is under the GPL.  

Not unfortunate, depending on your views.

> The code is out of the bag.  

But not out of the GPL bag.  This is the main point, not money, not changes.

> If you need the current release to be licensed differently, you 
> can't.  You CAN license the next version of code differently, even if 
> it is on the GPL code base, because the owner of the license by 
> definition can't break the license.

I am not sure I am reading this the way you meant it. An author can 
release his own code developed independently under as many licenses as 
he wishes. Code received under GPL and not one's own code must be 
released under the terms of the GPL even after it is modified. It is my 
understanding, but I could be wrong, that Sword code has portions that 
were received under GPL from other sources along with code developed for 
Sword and now released under GPL. If I am correct about the code from 
other sources then for some time, until it can all be replaced, GPL or 
compatible, is here to stay.

>   ...I also believe you did not understand the ramifications of GPL.  ...

There may be some on the list who don't understand, but I am sure there 
are a number of key people on the list who have a very good grasp of the 

> I apologize if I have offended anyone

The people on this list have a cross-section of  views on charging for 
things related to the Bible. There are probably some who believe that 
everything should be done free of charge, not just software, and others 
who would be happy working at a commercial bible software company and 
getting paid for it. The thing to remember is that, whatever their views 
are, they have given freely to this project. That says something about 
what can be expected in this context.

I wish you well.


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