[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [pygame] pygame for commercial use

On Friday 05 November 2004 15:31, Bob Ippolito wrote:

> The GPL doesn't keep others from stealing your work.  Under the GPL,
> you may:
> - modify the software and keep it to yourself or your company

> - modify the software and distribute it to selected people (who may
> then also redistribute, but if they are paying for it they probably
> won't)
The second only if you are willing to make your changes available publicly, 
which is the main focus of the GPL. The GPL specifically covers any form of 
distribution (even arguably within a company).

> The only condition that makes any promise to the author and/or original
> project is that it (and anything it touches) must be distributed under
> the same license.
> The GPL is counter-productive in many cases because using the GPL
> limits what software you may interoperate with (the linking clause), it
> causes logistical issues (the source must be available for any
> release), and it's a legal hassle.  The LGPL is a lot more palatable,
> but can still be a hassle.
> It's a lot easier to just stick to BSD/MIT/Apache/PSF/etc. style
> licenses, where you can do whatever you need to do without getting in
> the way of any developer or corporation who may be interested in using
> your the software in some way.  

That is the point, stopping third parties from simply 'stealing' your code 
without your authorisation.

>> You don't see people running around 
> "stealing" stuff like Python and Apache.  

Actually, you do. Look at all the embedded systems (routers and set-top boxes 
spring to mind) that have tried this lately. The only thing allowing the 
authors in question to have fair control of their software is the GPL in 
these cases. This has shown itself to work.

> So what if some company 
> decides to embed Python or use the Apache Portable Runtime in their
> closed source commercial product?  Chances are, they are just using it
> as it is meant to be used, without any modifications.  And if they do
> make meaningful modifications to the open source software, they'd
> probably send the changes upstream anyway to lessen their maintenance
> overhead, if not for altruistic reasons.

Wishfull thinking, some do not and have not redistributed their changes, until 
'forced'. This has happened too many times now to be waved off.

Many people missunderstand one BIG part of the GPL. There is nothing from 
stopping a corporation, company, individual, etc from approaching the 
original author(s) and acquiring a DIFFERENT license from the GPL to use that 
code, and this is what they should do if they wish to 'hide' someone elses 
code in their closed product, negotiate a fair trade. Qt is a classic and 
current example.

Of course, if a copyright holder is comfortable throwing their source to the 
wind, using LGPL or even BSD, good for them, they developed the code so that 
is their right. If they wish more protection than that, it is also their 
right. Complaining that they are not making life the easiest for the 
consumers of that code is missing the point, it is their code to distribute 
as they wish.

I personally am very happy that there are a wide range of licenses so easily 
usable these days, and as a software developer I feel good that I can choose 
myself the appropriate license for my own developments. If I am building on a 
foundation developed by another, I am perfectly willing to weight up their 
wishes (ie: choice of license) before using their code.

Stuart W.