[sword-devel] Diaspora.exe and palm bible+

DM Smith dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 2 09:35:47 MST 2008

Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> I am a bit confused by a message I saw on the forum regarding Diaspora. 
> https://www.crosswire.org/forums/mvnforum/viewthread?thread=498
> Chris states that diaspora.exe is withdrawn and should not get distributed as this would be a violation of Crosswire's copyrights. The copy  I have is GPL licensed, tough in absence of source that is not worth much. If there is no source about, distribution would indeed be in violation of the GPL.
Just a comment regarding the GPL v2. Here is my understanding:
GPL does not govern copyrights. The GPL v2 is a source distribution 
license which guarantees the distribution of source. When the source is 
not physically distributed with the application, the distributor has the 
responsibility of making the source available for at least 3 years from 
initial distribution.  This needs to be the version that built the 
application. If the source is distributed with the application, I don't 
see any obligation to make the source otherwise available. If the source 
is not distributed with the application, I don't see any obligation of 
the GPL beyond 3 years from release to make the source available for 
distribution. But while there is no obligation to make it available 
later, GPL source in the wild is GPL forever. After 3 years, or even 100 
years, it is still GPL and can still be distributed under the terms of 
the GPL.

I don't see any obligation in the GPL to provide support or ensure that 
the source still compiles.

This allows a practical mechanism for withdrawing an application: Don't 
distribute the source with the application and after 3 years from the 
last release, make the source unavailable.

With regard to Windows executables and the use of closed source, 
non-free compilers, this helps to enforce an "expiration" date.

> Diaspora is though - apart from various nefarious uses - also part of the approved way of creating Palm Bible+ modules.
> http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/createbible.htm
> It appears to be associated (remotely) to Crosswire and is linked to from the front page.
> Could I get some clarification regarding this piece of software? Is there a compelling legal reason to suppress it (apart from stupid abusers). Should we remove the link to Palm Bible+? Is there a better way of getting new modules into palm Bible+ format?
I am not familiar with diaspora or what it was intended for.

I think our stance has been, and is, that we will encourage the use of 
the SWORD/JSword libraries as the only authorized means of using SWORD 
modules and we will discourage extraction of their content for other uses.

The program mod2imp will export all modules to an imp format. JSword has 
a similar application. Module export applications are incredibly easy 
for a C++ or Java programmer to write.

Because our software is GPL, I don't see how we can prevent the SWORD 
and JSword libraries from being used in a particular fashion.

In Him,

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