Hmm, what license to use?

Previous Topic Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
97 messages Options
12345
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Hmm, what license to use?

Magnus Therning
Recently I received an email with a question regarding the licensing
of a module I've written and uploaded to Hackage.  I released it under
LGPL.  The sender wondered if I would consider re-licensing the code
under BSD (or something similar) that would remove the need for users
to provide linkable object files so that users can re-link programs
against newer/modified versions of my library.

Now I have fairly strong feelings about freedom of code and I
everything I release is either under GPL or LGPL.  What I like about
those licenses is it protects freedom in a way that I think it should
and it forces a sort of reciprocity which resonates very well with my
selfishness.  Re-licensing code under BSD is not something I'm willing
to do without something that compensates for that reciprocity, and I
can think of several kinds of compensation here but they all pretty
much boil down to either fame or fortune. ;-)

Once GHC supports dynamic binding on all platforms (or at least the
major ones) this issue will (largely) go away (thanks Andrew for
reporting on the state of this), but until then LGPL does create a
large burden for users of my module.  Until that happens I wouldn't
mind re-licensing the code under a license that has the reciprocity
attribute of LGPL on the source level, but does allow for static
linking without requiring the availability of linkable object files.
Is there such a license?

I've heard that the OCaml crowd uses a modified LGPL with a static
linking exception.  Unfortunately I've also heard that their addition
to LGPL hasn't gotten much review by lawyers, I'd much rather use
something that feels less ad hoc, if you get what I mean.

Any suggestions?

/M

--
Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org          Jabber: magnus@therning.org
http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter: magthe

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Achim Schneider
"Magnus Therning" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I released it under
> LGPL.  The sender wondered if I would consider re-licensing the code
> under BSD (or something similar) that would remove the need for users
> to provide linkable object files so that users can re-link programs
> against newer/modified versions of my library.
>
In general, you could just change your licencing to GPL, requiring
people to provide source to enable relinking/everything else, and sell
private licences to people who don't want to open up their code.

At least that's what I do, I don't like freeloaders.[1]

Concerning Haskell, just tell them to use the ghc-lib and link (or even
compile) at runtime.


[1] Things like Haskell and lua are exceptions, I'd release them
under BSD, too. But then I didn't ever do such a thing.

--
(c) this sig last receiving data processing entity. Inspect headers
for copyright history. All rights reserved. Copying, hiring, renting,
performance and/or broadcasting of this signature prohibited.

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Magnus Therning
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 8:59 AM, Achim Schneider <[hidden email]> wrote:
[..]

> Concerning Haskell, just tell them to use the ghc-lib and link (or even
> compile) at runtime.

"ghc-lib", never heard of it, where can I find out more?

/M

--
Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org          Jabber: magnus@therning.org
http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter: magthe

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Thomas Davie
In reply to this post by Magnus Therning
> Now I have fairly strong feelings about freedom of code and I
> everything I release is either under GPL or LGPL.  What I like about
> those licenses is it protects freedom in a way that I think it should
> and it forces a sort of reciprocity which resonates very well with my
> selfishness.  Re-licensing code under BSD is not something I'm willing
> to do without something that compensates for that reciprocity, and I
> can think of several kinds of compensation here but they all pretty
> much boil down to either fame or fortune. ;-)

Sorry, this isn't the most relevant comment to the discussion, but I  
thought I'd add my own thought re the gpl/lgpl.  My personal feeling  
is that the point of open source is to allow people the freedom to do  
what they want with a piece of code.  The GPL/LGPL go completely  
against this idea, in that they restrict what I can do with the code  
to only things that are similarly licensed.

I've seen this cause problems even in environments where there's no  
commercial gain to be had.  Take for example the zfs file system.  Sun  
have been kind enough to completely open source it.  Unfortunately,  
linux users can never hope for stable version that works in the  
kernel, simply because the GPL stipulates that zfs must be relicensed  
to do so.

That's my 2p's worth on why I use the BSD license over the GPL.  In  
short, the GPL does not promote freedom, it promotes restrictions,  
just not the restrictions we've grown to hate from most companies.

Bob
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Achim Schneider
Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've seen this cause problems even in environments where there's no  
> commercial gain to be had.  Take for example the zfs file system.
> Sun have been kind enough to completely open source it.
> Unfortunately, linux users can never hope for stable version that
> works in the kernel, simply because the GPL stipulates that zfs must
> be relicensed to do so.
>
http://www.wizy.org/wiki/ZFS_on_FUSE

I see no problem using FUSE, including stability. ntfs-3g does, too,
and it works like a charm.

--
(c) this sig last receiving data processing entity. Inspect headers
for copyright history. All rights reserved. Copying, hiring, renting,
performance and/or broadcasting of this signature prohibited.

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Achim Schneider
In reply to this post by Magnus Therning
"Magnus Therning" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 8:59 AM, Achim Schneider <[hidden email]>
> wrote: [..]
>
> > Concerning Haskell, just tell them to use the ghc-lib and link (or
> > even compile) at runtime.
>
> "ghc-lib", never heard of it, where can I find out more?
>
http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/GHC/As_a_library

As it's notoriously undocumented in places where the documentation
isn't out of date, I recommend downloading the Yi[1] source and have a
look at how it's done.

[1] http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Yi

--
(c) this sig last receiving data processing entity. Inspect headers
for copyright history. All rights reserved. Copying, hiring, renting,
performance and/or broadcasting of this signature prohibited.

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Colin Paul Adams
In reply to this post by Thomas Davie
>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> writes:


    Thomas> Sorry, this isn't the most relevant comment to the
    Thomas> discussion, but I thought I'd add my own thought re the
    Thomas> gpl/lgpl.  My personal feeling is that the point of open
    Thomas> source is to allow people the freedom to do what they want
    Thomas> with a piece of code.  The GPL/LGPL go completely against
    Thomas> this idea, in that they restrict what I can do with the
    Thomas> code to only things that are similarly licensed.

No, the point of free software is to prevent people from denying other
people the right to use the code.

Allowing people to do what they like at the expense of other people is
not freedom.
--
Colin Adams
Preston Lancashire
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Magnus Therning
In reply to this post by Thomas Davie
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 9:12 AM, Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Now I have fairly strong feelings about freedom of code and I
>> everything I release is either under GPL or LGPL.  What I like about
>> those licenses is it protects freedom in a way that I think it should
>> and it forces a sort of reciprocity which resonates very well with my
>> selfishness.  Re-licensing code under BSD is not something I'm willing
>> to do without something that compensates for that reciprocity, and I
>> can think of several kinds of compensation here but they all pretty
>> much boil down to either fame or fortune. ;-)
>
> Sorry, this isn't the most relevant comment to the discussion, but I thought
> I'd add my own thought re the gpl/lgpl.  My personal feeling is that the
> point of open source is to allow people the freedom to do what they want
> with a piece of code.  The GPL/LGPL go completely against this idea, in that
> they restrict what I can do with the code to only things that are similarly
> licensed.
>
> I've seen this cause problems even in environments where there's no
> commercial gain to be had.  Take for example the zfs file system.  Sun have
> been kind enough to completely open source it.  Unfortunately, linux users
> can never hope for stable version that works in the kernel, simply because
> the GPL stipulates that zfs must be relicensed to do so.
>
> That's my 2p's worth on why I use the BSD license over the GPL.  In short,
> the GPL does not promote freedom, it promotes restrictions, just not the
> restrictions we've grown to hate from most companies.
You are completely right, both that the comment is a bit off-topic and
in point.  It can be argued that the (L)GPL is restrictive.  However,
I fall on the side of "the freedom to take something free and make it
proprietary is not a freedom worth protecting".  Also, I'm a selfish
bastard ;-)

/M

--
Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org          Jabber: magnus@therning.org
http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter: magthe

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Achim Schneider
In reply to this post by Thomas Davie
Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That's my 2p's worth on why I use the BSD license over the GPL.  In  
> short, the GPL does not promote freedom, it promotes restrictions,  
> just not the restrictions we've grown to hate from most companies.
>
Btw: The BSD license is GPL-compatible, it's the CDDL that's not. Blame
Sun, not the GPL.


--
(c) this sig last receiving data processing entity. Inspect headers
for copyright history. All rights reserved. Copying, hiring, renting,
performance and/or broadcasting of this signature prohibited.

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Magnus Therning
In reply to this post by Achim Schneider
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 9:32 AM, Achim Schneider <[hidden email]> wrote:

> "Magnus Therning" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 8:59 AM, Achim Schneider <[hidden email]>
>> wrote: [..]
>>
>> > Concerning Haskell, just tell them to use the ghc-lib and link (or
>> > even compile) at runtime.
>>
>> "ghc-lib", never heard of it, where can I find out more?
>>
> http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/GHC/As_a_library
>
> As it's notoriously undocumented in places where the documentation
> isn't out of date, I recommend downloading the Yi[1] source and have a
> look at how it's done.
A cool thing, but I don't really see that more or less forcing people
to use it in order to use my module is a lighter burden than to
provide linkable object files.

/M

--
Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org          Jabber: magnus@therning.org
http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter: magthe

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Manlio Perillo-3
In reply to this post by Colin Paul Adams
Colin Paul Adams ha scritto:

>>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>
>     Thomas> Sorry, this isn't the most relevant comment to the
>     Thomas> discussion, but I thought I'd add my own thought re the
>     Thomas> gpl/lgpl.  My personal feeling is that the point of open
>     Thomas> source is to allow people the freedom to do what they want
>     Thomas> with a piece of code.  The GPL/LGPL go completely against
>     Thomas> this idea, in that they restrict what I can do with the
>     Thomas> code to only things that are similarly licensed.
>
> No, the point of free software is to prevent people from denying other
> people the right to use the code.
>
> Allowing people to do what they like at the expense of other people is
> not freedom.

When I compare GPL and MIT/BSD licenses, I do a simple reasoning.
Suppose a doctor in a battle field meet a badly injuried enemy.
Should he help the enemy?



Manlio Perillo
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Janis Voigtlaender
Manlio Perillo wrote:
> When I compare GPL and MIT/BSD licenses, I do a simple reasoning.
> Suppose a doctor in a battle field meet a badly injuried enemy.
> Should he help the enemy?

I'm so glad I don't understand this ;-)

--
Dr. Janis Voigtlaender
http://wwwtcs.inf.tu-dresden.de/~voigt/
mailto:[hidden email]

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Thomas Davie

On 26 Sep 2008, at 12:12, Janis Voigtlaender wrote:

> Manlio Perillo wrote:
>> When I compare GPL and MIT/BSD licenses, I do a simple reasoning.
>> Suppose a doctor in a battle field meet a badly injuried enemy.
>> Should he help the enemy?
>
> I'm so glad I don't understand this ;-)

Should you decide not to give someone something based on the fact that  
you either don't like them, or don't like what they'll do with the  
thing you give them.

Bob
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Janis Voigtlaender
Thomas Davie wrote:

>
> On 26 Sep 2008, at 12:12, Janis Voigtlaender wrote:
>
>> Manlio Perillo wrote:
>>
>>> When I compare GPL and MIT/BSD licenses, I do a simple reasoning.
>>> Suppose a doctor in a battle field meet a badly injuried enemy.
>>> Should he help the enemy?
>>
>>
>> I'm so glad I don't understand this ;-)
>
>
> Should you decide not to give someone something based on the fact that  
> you either don't like them, or don't like what they'll do with the  
> thing you give them.

Oh, but now you unfortunately spoiled my joy about not understanding
such discussions ;-)

--
Dr. Janis Voigtlaender
http://wwwtcs.inf.tu-dresden.de/~voigt/
mailto:[hidden email]

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Dougal Stanton-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Davie
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 11:17 AM, Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Should you decide not to give someone something based on the fact that you
> either don't like them, or don't like what they'll do with the thing you
> give them.

That rather depends what you intend to give, doesn't it? :-)

Though the analogy is inapt, because the GPL *doesn't* prevent use of
software for "things you don't like":

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#NoMilitary

Cheers,

D
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Thomas Davie

On 26 Sep 2008, at 12:28, Dougal Stanton wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 11:17 AM, Thomas Davie <[hidden email]>  
> wrote:
>
>> Should you decide not to give someone something based on the fact  
>> that you
>> either don't like them, or don't like what they'll do with the  
>> thing you
>> give them.
>
> That rather depends what you intend to give, doesn't it? :-)
>
> Though the analogy is inapt, because the GPL *doesn't* prevent use of
> software for "things you don't like":
>
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#NoMilitary

Sure it does -- it prevents the use of software for things that are  
closed source.

Bob
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Manlio Perillo-3
Thomas Davie ha scritto:
> [...]
>> Though the analogy is inapt, because the GPL *doesn't* prevent use of
>> software for "things you don't like":
>>
>> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#NoMilitary
>
> Sure it does -- it prevents the use of software for things that are
> closed source.
>

What worse, is that it prevents me to use a GPL library in a MIT
library, unless there is an explicit extra clause in the license, like
done by the library shipped with MySQL, and some (not so many) others:
http://www.mysql.com/about/legal/licensing/foss-exception.html

> Bob


Manlio Perillo
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Dougal Stanton-2
In reply to this post by Thomas Davie
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 11:32 AM, Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Sure it does -- it prevents the use of software for things that are closed
> source.

"Thing that are closed source" is not a use of software. Programs
don't become more or less capable of designing rockets or writing
subversive literature because the licence changes. The GPL provides an
identical number of restrictions in this case as the BSD licence.

Either way, the OP subscribes to the GPL ethic. Such arguments cloud
the real point of discussion --- which licence (if any) satisfies the
"permanent freedom" clause with some flexibility for linking?

D
_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Achim Schneider
In reply to this post by Manlio Perillo-3
Manlio Perillo <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Colin Paul Adams ha scritto:
> >>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> writes:
> >
> >
> >     Thomas> Sorry, this isn't the most relevant comment to the
> >     Thomas> discussion, but I thought I'd add my own thought re the
> >     Thomas> gpl/lgpl.  My personal feeling is that the point of open
> >     Thomas> source is to allow people the freedom to do what they
> >     Thomas> want with a piece of code.  The GPL/LGPL go completely
> >     Thomas> against this idea, in that they restrict what I can do
> >     Thomas> with the code to only things that are similarly
> >     Thomas> licensed.
> >
> > No, the point of free software is to prevent people from denying
> > other people the right to use the code.
> >
> > Allowing people to do what they like at the expense of other people
> > is not freedom.
>
> When I compare GPL and MIT/BSD licenses, I do a simple reasoning.
> Suppose a doctor in a battle field meet a badly injuried enemy.
> Should he help the enemy?
>
I think your example is a little flawed, I'd see it like this:

Is the patient conscious?
Is he still holding his gun?
If yes, get the hell away.


--
(c) this sig last receiving data processing entity. Inspect headers
for copyright history. All rights reserved. Copying, hiring, renting,
performance and/or broadcasting of this signature prohibited.

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Magnus Therning
In reply to this post by Dougal Stanton-2
On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 12:07 PM, Dougal Stanton
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 11:32 AM, Thomas Davie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Sure it does -- it prevents the use of software for things that are closed
>> source.
>
> "Thing that are closed source" is not a use of software. Programs
> don't become more or less capable of designing rockets or writing
> subversive literature because the licence changes. The GPL provides an
> identical number of restrictions in this case as the BSD licence.
>
> Either way, the OP subscribes to the GPL ethic. Such arguments cloud
> the real point of discussion --- which licence (if any) satisfies the
> "permanent freedom" clause with some flexibility for linking?
Thanks for trying to reign in this thread.  It turns out my fears were
confirmed, people jumped on the GPL vs. BSD path rather than offer
suggestions of licenses that satisfy _my_beliefs_ in source freedom.

I'm still hopeful someone will be able to inform me of some license
that satisfies my needs.

/M

--
Magnus Therning                        (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
magnus@therning.org          Jabber: magnus@therning.org
http://therning.org/magnus         identi.ca|twitter: magthe

_______________________________________________
Haskell-Cafe mailing list
[hidden email]
http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe
12345