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Old 06-15-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
fhsm
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How should I license my code?


I've written a wordpress plugin that I'd like to release but I'm not sure how to do the licensing. My plugin is a modification to a previous plugin. That plugin didn't have a license anywhere in it; however, I emailed the author who said it was GPLed. The original plugin uses a library that is under the New BSD license.

I have modified both the original library and plugin. What do I do? I'd like my contributions GPLed but other than that I just want to make sure all the right license text ends up in all the right places.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
noctilucent
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I don't understand, if the 'original plugin' had no license anywhere in it, how can it be GPLed? Imagine you hadn't emailed the author. Alas, why would you want to GPL your work? Why not a WTFPL license or similar?
 
Old 06-15-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
fhsm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noctilucent View Post
I don't understand, if the 'original plugin' had no license anywhere in it, how can it be GPLed? Imagine you hadn't emailed the author. Alas, why would you want to GPL your work? Why not a WTFPL license or similar?
Can I interpret this comment as "email from author is worthless, next action is having him repost his work with an explicit license?"
 
Old 06-15-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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I'm not an expert on licenses [far from it], but it would seem to me that if the original code was lacking a license.. then it is unlicensed [sounds kind of obvious, actually]. When the original author published his work and didn't include a license.. he should've realised what he's doing. I don't think he can change the rules of the game now. He can license -future- versions. That's how it seems to me, anyway.

This way, think about it: you emailed him and he said the code is GPLed. Fine and dandy, you'd think, but what if he said: "uh.. yeah, i didn't mention it but if you use my code you have to give me $1000. that's the license". It doesn't work that way.

Last edited by noctilucent; 06-15-2009 at 02:57 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
XavierP
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http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/ - if you want it to be available via the WP site it must be GPLd. Otherwise, if you wish to self host and not have it on the site use whichever licence you wish.

As to the hypothetical "give me money", he would have to show you the licence terms that you agreed to.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
David the H.
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Since you're already in contact with the original author, I think you should ask him to supply a new version of his code with an explicit license attached to it, just to be safe. Then make sure your code conforms to that licensed version, if there any changes from the version you've used.

And of course you're always free to negotiate a separate license with the owner, no matter what the original licensing is.

But in any case, get it in writing. Don't rely on an unlicensed version as the basis for your code.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 04:32 PM   #7
dmail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noctilucent View Post
I'm not an expert on licenses [far from it], but it would seem to me that if the original code was lacking a license.. then it is unlicensed [sounds kind of obvious, actually].
It would seem from this comment that you have a misunderstanding of what unlicenced code actually implies, as it has an implicit licence.


Quote:
This way, think about it: you emailed him and he said the code is GPLed. Fine and dandy, you'd think, but what if he said: "uh.. yeah, i didn't mention it but if you use my code you have to give me $1000. that's the license". It doesn't work that way.
Demanding money is not a GPL licence.

IANAL but if you have an email from the author of the code which states that the licence is GPL then you are free to use it under GPL IMHO. To fully cover your back I would ask him what you have already mentioned, to re-release it under GPL.

Last edited by dmail; 06-15-2009 at 04:34 PM.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
noctilucent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmail View Post
It would seem from this comment that you have a misunderstanding of what unlicenced code actually implies, as it has an implicit licence.
Quite possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmail View Post
Demanding money is not a GPL licence.
I know that, you misunderstood.
 
  


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