[sword-devel] Question about Public Domain

Jonathan Morgan jonmmorgan at gmail.com
Tue Mar 17 04:30:46 MST 2009

On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 10:45 AM, Chris Little <chrislit at crosswire.org> wrote:
> Ben Morgan wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 10:04 AM, mmital <mital.manu at gmail.com
>> <mailto:mital.manu at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>    Hi,
>>    As Chris pointed out, all front-ends *have* to use GPL v2. So the
>>    public domain door is closed for me.
>> The license for a front end has to be GPL v2 compatible. Not GPL v2
>> necessarily.
> This is completely incorrect (more specifically backwards). To say that a
> license is GPL compatible means that code licensed under that license may be
> incorporated in/used by GPL licensed software. Code that is GPL licensed may
> only be used within code that is likewise GPL licensed. (This is the whole
> "viral" nature of the GPL.)

It is not backward, it is a pure statement of facts, which you can
find quite clearly in the GPL v2 FAQ
 If I can add a module to a library (or a "plugin" for that matter)
which is not GPL licensed but GPL compatible, of course I can create
an entire frontend that is GPL compatible but not GPL licensed.
Fundamentally, the GPL cannot require you to do anything more than are
in its terms of license, which is that changes are distributed in
accordance with the license.  You have complete and sole ownership of
those changes or of that "derivative work", but if you distribute it
they must be distributed in a way that satisfies the terms of the GPL.
 As I have complete ownership of those changes, I can release them
under any terms I like that do not conflict with the GPL.  I can grant
any additional permissions I like (such as releasing under a MIT
license or into the public domain).  This doesn't require legalese, it
just requires a knowledge of ownership and what I can do with things
that I own.

Oh, BTW, BPBible does not link with the header files, though I think
it is still reasonable to call it a derivative work under the terms of
the GPL.


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