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Codemonger

GPL License

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I was looking for information on the GPL license this morning and came across an interesting article that discusses a number of different licenses in general and plain english. I thought I would share this article I found with everybody because it may help people in deciding and understanding whether or not they want to use a particular license or how they can use a particular license. It is short but very informative especially the part marked "Is there any way to take code issued under the General Public License and apply it to your own proprietary software?". Clicky

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Original post by Codemonger
It is short but very informative especially the part marked "Is there any way to take code issued under the General Public License and apply it to your own proprietary software?".


If you want to distribute your software, there's still no way to put GPL code into your software without making all your code GPL. What I think he was getting at (from a gamedev perspective) is that if you create a game, and then you or someone else creates a level editor that is released under the GPL, you can distribute the level editor with your game without having to make your game GPL. But if you integrate code from the level editor into the game you're going to have to GPL the whole game.

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yeah for sure. Personally I think this is a straight forward interpretation. I wanted to look into using gcc as a beckend for something I'm writing.

Seeing as I would not need to integrate the code but only use the gcc binaries externally, then I would not have to release my application as gpl at all. This article cleared this up completely as I know there are a lot of myths about GPL that float around.

I never looked int GPL stuff till now, so this article helped me out lots.

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I released stuff in GPL for awhile. And, of course, when I was using GPL components, I was forced by the authors to use the GPL license.

But whenever I'm not shackled by GPLed components, I release stuff I'm going to release as public domain. There's no linking-versus-copying grey areas, no need for an alternate license model for commercial development, no license at all, in fact (other than the warranty disclaimer)... just "take it and do whatever you like with it".

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Original post by Sneftel
But whenever I'm not shackled by GPLed components, I release stuff I'm going to release as public domain. There's no linking-versus-copying grey areas, no need for an alternate license model for commercial development, no license at all, in fact (other than the warranty disclaimer)... just "take it and do whatever you like with it".


You might want to look at the MIT License. It's essentially public domain, except that you still hold the copyright - though anyone can do anything with the code. Then again, you might be happy enough with just realeasing it as public domain.

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
You might want to look at the MIT License. It's essentially public domain, except that you still hold the copyright - though anyone can do anything with the code. Then again, you might be happy enough with just realeasing it as public domain.

The MIT license is a good one; it isn't significantly more restrictive than public domain. My main reason for choosing PD is that there are zero misunderstandings about what you can and can't do.

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I think the "GPL for Artists" is a little misleading in the "Can my organization use Blender internally without giving up our valuable changes to our competitors?" section. While you as an employer don't technically HAVE to give away your changes to people outside of your company, any employee is allowed to give the code to someone else without you being able to take legal recourse against them. So you could say "Hey guys, please don't share this with anyone", but they're still allowed to if they want to.

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Original post by makeshiftwings
I think the "GPL for Artists" is a little misleading in the "Can my organization use Blender internally without giving up our valuable changes to our competitors?" section. While you as an employer don't technically HAVE to give away your changes to people outside of your company, any employee is allowed to give the code to someone else without you being able to take legal recourse against them. So you could say "Hey guys, please don't share this with anyone", but they're still allowed to if they want to.


Of course, then that employee gets fired and branded a traitor. There are more subtle ways of punishing someone than taking legal recourse. [evil]

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Quote:
Original post by makeshiftwings
While you as an employer don't technically HAVE to give away your changes to people outside of your company, any employee is allowed to give the code to someone else without you being able to take legal recourse against them. So you could say "Hey guys, please don't share this with anyone", but they're still allowed to if they want to.


Are you a lawyer?

IANAL, but as long as the modified versions are only installed on company computers, I don't believe that that counts as distribution (see the GNU GPL FAQ on internal distribution, which appears to agree with this). Assuming the modifications were done under contract, that means the company is probably the owner of the modifications. Further, they may be breaking trade secret law, if the company decides those modifications are indeed trade secrets, and the distribution of the source "theft" (see the GNU GPL FAQ on stolen copies, which again seems to agree with this).

In other words, they could still go to jail, not pass go, and not collect $200 on TOP of getting fired and getting a bad repute in the industry.

This is a classic example of why asking GD.NET for legal advice is a bad idea - people froget their IANAL tags.

Also, in case linking it twice allready in this post wasn't enough, the GNU GPL FAQ covers a lot of questions about the GNU GPL.

[Edited by - MaulingMonkey on June 24, 2005 11:35:09 PM]

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