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

Daniel Hughes trampster at gmail.com
Sun Aug 12 17:51:55 MST 2012

OK here is the issue for me. My application (Wide Margin) is GPL 3. It has
been all it's life. I want to use libsword. But libsword is GPL2.

GPL 3 is a later version of GPL 2. The FSF want people to use GPL 3.

What would it take for the sword project to re-licence to: GPL 2 or later.
I'm sure that the libsword contributors would have no problem with allowing
GPL 3 applications use the library.

How many contributors do you have, how hard would it be for you to contact
them and get permission for this licence change. Otherwise you are going to
be preventing more and more libraries who are following
FSF recommendations and licencing as GPL3.

Xiphos uses GPL2 or later. This would make Xiphos non-compliant.

Bible time uses GPL2 but contains this text:
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This would make BibleTime also non-compliant

Looks like you guys have a bit of a problem on your hands. What are you
planning to do about it?


On Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM, Peter von Kaehne <refdoc at gmx.net> wrote:

> 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
> amount.
> 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.
> Peter
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