[sword-devel] GPL restrictions (was Re: using a zText module)

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Sun Aug 12 15:52:22 MST 2012

There is a lot of confusion about.

But it is actually very simple.

A complete programme binary incorporating libsword (or other GPL2 code)
requires to be GPL2, i.e. full sources need to be released etc etc etc.
The "compatible" is here very limited as essentially only a copyleft
license will do.

But GPL2 code can incorporate any kind of GPL2 compatible code - in any

So, it is possible to create a GPL2 application based on libsword, where
100% of the non library code is PD, allowing anyone who wants to e.g. to
make use of the PD code in commercial close sourced applications - as
long as such applications no not link to libsword, but use a different
Bible backend.

An example of that exists within the wider Sword family in LCD Bible.
The author took his GUI code and reworked it for making a closed source
application with a different backend. If he had BSD licensed or PD
dedicated the GUI code, he would have allowed others to do the same.


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