[sword-devel] Wiki Misrepresentation

Famile von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Mon Aug 3 16:43:06 MST 2009


We have been on teh mailing list through this discussion already a few
dozen of times.

If you write GUI code for _a_ bible programme and then go looking for a
suitable backend, + decide to go for libsword your initial independent
GUI code may be under any licence you see fit as long as it is GPL
compatible, your glue code must be GPL and the overall application must
be GPL. The best example within the fold of sword related programmes is
LCD Bible. The guy who wrote it republished his GUI with a couple of
other backends and some of these are not GPL but closed source. His
originl fronend code may be under whatever license, but he needed to
relicence everything as GPL prior to publishing.

If you start out with libsword and build your code upon that then you
start out under GPL and  continue. If you end up incorporating 
pre-existing code from something else, then this (as above) may be under
any other GPL compatible license and the overall final product will be
again GPL.

There are a few outlying cases which have been raised a few times and a
couple of people suggested ingenuous sever/client constructions which
they felt  would allow them to bypass the overall GPL but thgese are the
exceptions (which might not even apply if you set a lawyer onto it.

The main confusing aspect is "GPL compatible". This can mean two things

a) a license which is free enough to allow code under it be incorporated
into GPL code.

b) a license which states the same as the GPL but uses other words.

Latter practically does not exist, but lingers in people's minds and
confuses the issues. Former are BSD amd MIT style free licenses or
indeed public domain code. The "compatibility" is a one way street. I
can incorporate BSD/MIT/PD code into  my GPL programme but I can not
incorporate GPL code into my BSD programme without licensing the lot as
a GPL programme.

With regard to GPL 2 vs 3 - again this has been raised a few times. The
FSF is  pushing GPL 3, but for us this is no option as some of the code
we use is GPL vs 2 only. GPL v2 and v3 are not compatible.

yours in him


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