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Old 09-08-2007, 02:53 AM   #1
noir911
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Licensing issues: GPL and BSD


If I write some code (shell scripts) on a Linux distribution which follows GPLv2 license, does the license for my code has to be under GPLv2 as well? I'm writing lots of scripts for Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Redhat on Fedora Core platform and I want to opt for a BSD license if this is possible.

Any clarification would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 03:12 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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You need to reread the GPL.

You are only obliged to license your own work GPL if you plan to distribute it, and then only if you have included GPL-licenced source code.

Merely developing code, scripts, whatever, using free software does not bind you to the GPL.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 04:56 AM   #3
jlliagre
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Many applications like OpenOffice, Apache, Firefox, Thunderbird, Xfree86, Eclipse, NetBeans, Perl, Java to name a few which can be distributed with Gnu/Linux distributions aren't licensed under the GPL.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 08:03 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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Indeed:

Open Office uses the GNU LGPL, "Open Office" (the name) is proprietary so the product is officially called "OpenOffice.org".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffice.org

Apache has it's own non-free licence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_License

Firefox source code is available under the Mozilla Public License while the binary version uses the Mozilla Firefox End-User Software Licence Agreement. Plugins can have pretty much any license. Prompting the development of freer versions.
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/legal/eula/firefox-en.html

Thunderbird is like firefox.

Xfree86 developers changed the license from GPL-compatible prompting many distros to adopt the fork xorg instead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License
http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2004021803026NWDTLL

xorg thus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X.org ... I haven't found a clear statement of the x.org license. 'tis widely touted as GPL compatible.

Eclipse has it's own OSI-approved "Eclipse Public Licence"

Netbeans uses the CDDL (common development and distribution license).
http://java.sun.com/javase/6/LICENSE....0-website.txt

Perl uses the Artistic License
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_License

Java HotSpot virtual machine and compiler is GPL now, the core JAVA platform is supposed to be in the process of being open sourced.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_(Sun)#Current_status
... but the JRE and JDK still chafe under the proprietary yoke :/

The Java platform stuff has never been free enough for most linuxes to include by default. However, none of these projects use GPL'd code.

The proliferation of free-ish licenses is quite bad, but nothing like the proliferation of non-free licenses (one for each software - often changing between versions).

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 09-08-2007 at 08:04 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 01:33 PM   #5
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
Apache has it's own non-free licence.
I guess you mean free here.
Quote:
xorg thus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X.org ... I haven't found a clear statement of the x.org license. 'tis widely touted as GPL compatible.
Xorg is covered by multiple "GPL compatible" licenses. (MIT, X Consortium, BSD, ...) http://ftp.x.org/pub/X11R7.1/doc/README2.html
Quote:
Netbeans uses the CDDL (common development and distribution license).
OSI approved too.
Quote:
Java HotSpot virtual machine and compiler is GPL now, the core JAVA platform is supposed to be in the process of being open sourced.
Why do you write "supposed to be in the process" while this process was completed last May ? Or at least 96% of the code as it wasn't legally possible for the remaining.
Quote:
... but the JRE and JDK still chafe under the proprietary yoke :/
I believe the GPL assembly exception allows these non free third party libraries to be distributed along with GPL code.
Quote:
The Java platform stuff has never been free enough for most linuxes to include by default.
The JDL (Distributor License for Java: http://dlc.sun.com/dlj/DLJ-FAQ.txt ) has been created to allow this inclusion.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 01:50 PM   #6
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
I guess you mean free here.
That I do... I meant it is non-copyleft.
Quote:
Why do you write "supposed to be in the process" while this process was completed last May ? Or at least 96% of the code as it wasn't legally possible for the remaining.
Well.. only found clear statements about Hotspot. Though there were any number of press releases (http://www.computerworlduk.com/techn...fm?newsid=2917 ) it is not advisable to believe these.

But you are quite right - the bulk of the core is now GPLv2 IIRC- and the move should see sun-java as a standard in mainstream distros any release now. Which will have an interesting effect on all those "free-java" projects.

[quote]I believe the GPL assembly exception allows these non free third party libraries [re: JRE/JDK] to be distributed along with GPL code.[quote]Has this actually happened yet?
Quote:
The JDL [...] has been created to allow this inclusion.
The JDL is not all that free and open, it is a clickthrough license dealing with binary distribution.

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 09-08-2007 at 01:51 PM.
 
Old 09-08-2007, 03:47 PM   #7
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
That I do... I meant it is non-copyleft.
Indeed, but still free.
Quote:
Well.. only found clear statements about Hotspot. Though there were any number of press releases (http://www.computerworlduk.com/techn...fm?newsid=2917 ) it is not advisable to believe these.
What makes you not believing these press releases while millions of GPLv2 OpenJDK lines of code are freely downloadable ? http://download.java.net/openjdk/jdk7/

Quote:
Has this actually happened yet [re: assembly exception] ?
I don't know.
Quote:
The JDL is not all that free and open
Correct, its goal is to allow/simplify Linux distributions bundling the JDK or the JRE.
 
Old 09-09-2007, 08:55 AM   #8
JMJ_coder
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Hello,

Question - if a program is compiled with the GCC is the program then required to be distributed under the GPL?

Also, is it possible to have a GPL'd product and make a decent earning from it (enough to live off of) without the money coming from 'support'?
 
Old 09-09-2007, 11:36 AM   #9
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
Question - if a program is compiled with the GCC is the program then required to be distributed under the GPL?
No, there is no such requirement.
Quote:
Also, is it possible to have a GPL'd product and make a decent earning from it (enough to live off of) without the money coming from 'support'?
Why aren't you looking for support revenue ?
 
Old 09-09-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
JMJ_coder
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre View Post
No, there is no such requirement.
Really!! I thought I read this somewhere a while back. So I can compile a program (my own original code) with GCC and distribute it under the BSD license, or even proprietarily? That is good to know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre View Post
Why aren't you looking for support revenue ?
Because I don't want to work in a call center. Nor do I want to travel or work odd hours.

I don't know if I still have a incomplete or inaccurate picture of all that 'support' entails, but it is a grim picture from my eyes.
 
Old 09-09-2007, 06:22 PM   #11
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
Hello,
hello hello? ... you don't have to keep doing this: think of it as a conversation.
Quote:
Question - if a program is compiled with the GCC is the program then required to be distributed under the GPL?
Answer: No. That's right: you can use free software tools to create non-free software. This is spelled out in the GPL.
Quote:
Also, is it possible to have a GPL'd product and make a decent earning from it (enough to live off of) without the money coming from 'support'?
Yes. It is even possible to make more than a decent living off it. Attend conferences and you'll meet lots of people who do just that. You need to watch your business model, but there are plenty to choose from.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikinomics_(book)
 
Old 09-09-2007, 06:40 PM   #12
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
Really!! I thought I read this somewhere a while back. So I can compile a program (my own original code) with GCC and distribute it under the BSD license, or even proprietarily?
Sure, even Microsoft is using gcc to build some of its proprietary programs on Unix based platforms.
Quote:
Because I don't want to work in a call center. Nor do I want to travel or work odd hours.

I don't know if I still have a incomplete or inaccurate picture of all that 'support' entails, but it is a grim picture from my eyes.
Outside support guys, I hardly met anyone in the software business that neither travel nor work odd hours, regardless it is about open-source or not ...
 
Old 09-09-2007, 08:03 PM   #13
JMJ_coder
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
hello hello? ... you don't have to keep doing this: think of it as a conversation.
It's just my thing. I've done it for so long, it is sort of a trademark for me now. But, of course, like all trademarks there are some (or many) who can and will be annoyed by it. But I mean no offense by it - on the contrary, it is for courteousness and a bit of formality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
Yes. It is even possible to make more than a decent living off it. Attend conferences and you'll meet lots of people who do just that. You need to watch your business model, but there are plenty to choose from.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikinomics_(book)
Thanks.
 
  


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