[ILUG] GPL clarification.
rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Mar 31 17:13:20 IST 2005
Quoting Kae Verens (kae at verens.com):
> I don't understand any of this, which is why I don't bother licensing
> my code.
And there's the tragedy: There's a default licence inherent in
copyright statutes, if you fail to state one of your own, and it's
proprietary in nature: By default, the right to redistribute, make
derivative works, and numerous other key rights are reserved to the
copyright holder. This is obviously not what you intended, but is the
situation you are creating.
> I've released, for example, http://webmecms.org/ as a free
> application. People are free to use the code, modify it, sell it, do
> what the hell they want with it.
I just looked at http://webme.verens.com/_files/stable : It appears to
contain, as you say, no explicit licence statement whatsoever. So,
absent any other rights grant, you've created proprietary code that --
moreover -- many people will incorrectly assume to be unrestricted.
> I don't care whether they give me back whatever modifications they make,
> but I'd like them to feel they are free to do so. The only thing I would want
> to make sure of is that anyone that takes the source I developed, does not
> then package it under their own brand and subsequently try to sue me for
> using "their" code.
The above is a licence statement. It's not well crafted in a number of
ways, including not having a warranty disclaimer (Why on earth would you
be willing to endure warranty obligations on something you distribute
for free?), but you could throw a copy of it into your current release,
and improve substantially on what you have at present.
> In that context, would the GPL be worth studying to see if it matches what I
Sounds, actually, as if you're seeking a "academic" (non-copyleft) style
licence, like BSD, MIT/X, AFL. GPL, LGPL, MPL, etc. are in the copyleft
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