[sword-devel] need help on a project

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Sun Jan 27 16:19:45 MST 2008

Wade Maxfield wrote:
>    Yes, I had intended to sell a gui (and give it away for free (ie: 
> donationware)).   I'm not sure I wanted to do an "end run" on the GPL, 
> but there are some issues I wished to avoid with the GPL.  If it is 
> truly your desire that no one profit from Sword, you do need to change 
> your license to be closer to e-sword's license, and close your source. 

We like open source. We like the GPL. We like the GPL soooo much, that 
we think other people should use it too--especially people who build 
software based on our software. That's kind of the crux of GPL 
software--you give the same rights to others as you received to others.

>    2) If Sword hosts a web site on the Internet, or has a mailing list, 
> people indirectly profit from Sword (server hosting, electricity 
> providing, ad dollars on web pages, taxes to ungodly governments, etc).

Actually, no, that is incorrect. Services are donated. Ads are banned. 
And no income means no taxes.

>    2) In remote countries where having scripture on a local disk can 
> lead to imprisonment, out of country servers can serve the scriptures 
> beyond local government control.  If done right, the servers can be 
> cloaked through proxies.  This can shield Christians to some extent.  
> Web pages leave footprints in histories and files on disk and used to 
> persecute.  A direct server and associated gui would be able to avoid 
> storing this information.

So use an anonymizing version of Firefox (or write one if none exists) 
and link to The Bible Tool.

>    My intentions, which are different now than when I started (because I 
> had not understood your intent, I only understood the GPL you had 
> released under).  I had intended to give away the server and sell the 
> gui to raise money for other purposes related to God's work (spreading 
> the Gospel).  That purpose appears to violate the desire you have in 
> Sword (but not the GPL license).

I think there are very legitimate objections that we should have to what 
you were planning. It was your intent to obey the letter of our license 
while at the same time completely and utterly violating the spirit of 
the license. You wanted to take our work and use it to build something 
for yourself without giving back to the community that made it possible.

If you want to build closed source software, pay someone a few tens of 
thousands of dollars to build it for you. Our work is licensed under the 
GPL and any work that so fundamentally requires our library as yours 
would should be GPL.

>     If no one wishes to do this work, I understand.   I apologize if I 
> have offended anyone, that was not and is not my intent.  I had not 
> understood your purposes in licensing Sword the way you did, and I also 
> believe you did not understand the ramifications of GPL.  In my opinion, 
> the GPL appears to run counter to your intentions, which appear to be 
> closer to Rick's e-sword license, which is a closed license.  I may be 
> wrong.

Thanks... we'll take it under advisement.


More information about the sword-devel mailing list