wxPython Licence vs GPL

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Sun Nov 27 18:31:39 CET 2005


Fredrik Lundh wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> > Fine. If you want to take rights away from the people you redistribute
> > somebody else's software to, then the GPL is not for you.
>
> the people you distribute somebody else's open source software to
> still have the same rights to that software as you have.  GPL or not
> GPL doesn't change that a bit.

It's true that the original software would still be available under the
original licence and that commercial, closed source usage of that
software doesn't actually affect its availability. Moreover, many (if
not most) copyright regimes demand that you acknowledge the different
copyrights on the entire work, regardless of how permissive the
licences on the different portions of that work are. It's certainly
true that an end-user of a closed source repackaging of the original
software could discover where the software originated and be aware of
their rights to that software under less restrictive terms, but I
suppose that part of the idea behind licences like the LGPL (which is
more relevant to this particular point) and the GPL is to eliminate the
detective work needed to discover what is in the binary black box and
to make clear the end-user's rights to portions of that work "up
front": both requiring the distribution of, or the offer to distribute,
the source code.

> I find it a lot more annoying when people grab my stuff, make trivial
> additions or bugfixes to it, and GPL the result instead of contributing
> it back.

This presumably goes to the heart of the recent Zope vs. Plone
licensing discussion as well, although with less emphasis on the
trivial nature of the work. As I noted there, one could make one's
licences GPL-incompatible if such behaviour appears offensive, but that
would probably be counterproductive in several respects.

Paul




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