[I18n-sig] Codec licenses

M.-A. Lemburg mal@lemburg.com
Sat, 27 Jan 2001 01:05:53 +0100

"Martin v. Loewis" wrote:
> > Note that iconv itself is distributed under the LGPL, so nothing
> > would prevent me from writing a codec package under a Python
> > style license. The same applies to all other codecs.
> >
> > I still think that such a needless effort could be avoided if
> > people were to play nice. We could then wrap a nice codec extension
> > package for everyone to use at their will.
> I don't see your point (but that is probably a starting point to a
> long and needless discussion on free software and licensing).
> You are certainly free to write an iconv codec. I can't see *why* you
> would want to do so - unless you have an actual need for it. If so,
> what is that need? I'm curious.

Very simple: I make a living out of selling closed-source 
software. As it happens much of the closed-source software
uses basic building blocks which are open source, such as Python
and many of my mx tools. 

GPLed code is useless in such a setup
though, so I'd need to rewrite the code using either a closed
source license (doesn't buy me anything) or a liberal Python
style license (buys me free debugging and save lots of others the
effort of writing their own version -- with the result of making
everyone happy).
> Talking about talking other people into changing the license of their
> software: Could you please change the license of mxODBC so that it is
> free software? A BSD-style license would be nice; restrictions on
> commercial use are not.

I'm not talking anyone into changing their mind on what license
to put on their software. I just want people to be aware of
what they are doing when they use the GPL for licensing software.

As for mxODBC: that will turn into a commercial product starting
with the next release. I have to take this step in order to fund
development of the other mx open source tools and to be able
to actively maintain the package (which is a can of worms...).

Anyway, let's *not* head down this road. The codec authors are
free to do whatever they like. I just wanted to clarify the
problems which using the GPL for library style has for the code
and its users -- nothing more. I don't want to talk anyone into
changing licenses. It would be nice though, if I could convince 
some of the authors to rethink their decision.

Marc-Andre Lemburg
Company:                                        http://www.egenix.com/
Consulting:                                    http://www.lemburg.com/
Python Pages:                           http://www.lemburg.com/python/

PS: We seem to be on different wave-length on a lot of subjects,
Martin. Let's simply agree to differ :-)