[sword-devel] Wiki Misrepresentation

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon Aug 3 17:35:50 MST 2009


I'm going to top post, so forgive that.

I know we've been through lots of licensing issues in the past.
However, the fact remains that the GPL FAQs as well as the FSF license
e-mail answering people have directly responded inquiries from SWORD
application developers and stated that it *IS* permissible to use
GPL-compatible licenses to write the code for an application which
links to a GPL library.  So to state on our Wiki that the application
must be GPL is incorrect.  LGPL could be used, MIT, BSD, PD and others
could all be used (or at least those versions of the preceding
licenses which are labeled, by the FSF, as GPL-compatible).  No
dual-licensing required, nothing.  I'm not saying that this in any way
allows the people to get around the restrictions of the GPL as to
modifications of the SWORD code or any other such thing - but it does
free up people to publish a front-end in a different license if they
see the GPL as wrong for their area (like Alkitab chose PD) without
having to explain themselves and go through receiving special


On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 6:43 PM, Famile von Kaehne<refdoc at gmx.net> wrote:
> Greg,
> 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
> Peter
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