Re: Picking a license

Discussion in 'Python' started by Ed Keith, May 14, 2010.

  1. Ed Keith

    Ed Keith Guest

    --- On Thu, 5/13/10, Patrick Maupin <> wrote:

    > From: Patrick Maupin <>
    > Subject: Re: Picking a license
    > To:
    > Date: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 11:35 PM
    > On May 13, 10:07 pm, Lawrence
    > D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    > central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
    >
    > > How exactly does the LGPL lead to a requirement to

    > “relink�
    >
    > I think this might be a misconception, but I'm not 100%
    > sure.  Since
    > Ed gives his customers full source code, there may not be
    > the
    > requirement to directly provide the ability to relink,
    > because "The
    > “Corresponding Application Code†for a Combined Work
    > means the object
    > code and/or source code for the Application." and section
    > 4d0 requires
    > you to "permit the user to recombine or relink" where
    > "recombine"
    > isn't defined directly (perhaps in the underlying GPL?)


    But if my client give someone else a copy of the binary I gave them, they are now in violation. I do not want to put my client in this position.

    When using the GPL or LGPL you can do anything you want as long as you do not let anyone else use your work, but if you let someone else have a copy of you work you are putting them in a position where that can easily/inadvertently violate the law. I do not want to put clients in legal jeopardy, so I do not use GPL, or LGPLed code.

    I do not claim that using the GLP is immoral, nor deny others right to use it. I just feel the risks out way the benefits for me.

    -EdK

    Ed Keith


    Blog: edkeith.blogspot.com
     
    Ed Keith, May 14, 2010
    #1
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  2. On May 14, 9:10 am, Ed Keith <> wrote:
    > --- On Thu, 5/13/10, Patrick Maupin <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > From: Patrick Maupin <>
    > > Subject: Re: Picking a license
    > > To:
    > > Date: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 11:35 PM
    > > On May 13, 10:07 pm, Lawrence
    > > D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
    > > central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:

    >
    > > > How exactly does the LGPL lead to a requirement to

    > > “relink”?

    >
    > > I think this might be a misconception, but I'm not 100%
    > > sure.  Since
    > > Ed gives his customers full source code, there may not be
    > > the
    > > requirement to directly provide the ability to relink,
    > > because "The
    > > “Corresponding Application Code” for a Combined Work
    > > means the object
    > > code and/or source code for the Application." and section
    > > 4d0 requires
    > > you to "permit the user to recombine or relink" where
    > > "recombine"
    > > isn't defined directly (perhaps in the underlying GPL?)

    >
    > But if my client give someone else a copy of the binary I gave them, they are now in violation. I do not want to put my client in this position.
    >
    > When using the GPL or LGPL you can do anything you want as long as you do not let anyone else use your work, but if you let someone else have a copy of you work you are putting them in a position where that can easily/inadvertently violate the law. I do not want to put clients in legal jeopardy, so I do not use GPL, or LGPLed code.


    Good point. I guess I haven't distributed something linked in a while
    (really just Python), so I tend to forget that aspect of it.

    Regards,
    Pat
     
    Patrick Maupin, May 14, 2010
    #2
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  3. On Fri, 14 May 2010 07:10:50 -0700, Ed Keith wrote:

    > But if my client give someone else a copy of the binary I gave them,
    > they are now in violation. I do not want to put my client in this
    > position.


    If your client is distributing software without reading and obeying the
    licence terms, then they are either idiots, or unethical, or possibly
    both.

    If you want to make life easier on them by reducing the consequences of
    such foolish and/or unethical behaviour, that of course is your right.
    There are good reasons for doing so, and equally good reasons for not.
    It's also their right to ask you to assign copyright to them, or to
    licence the work using the MIT licence (or similar), or to ask for an
    exclusive licence. Or even to ask you to sign a "no compete" agreement
    which prevents you from ever writing code again. It's your choice whether
    to say Yay or Nay, and if you agree, how much you will charge for it.


    > When using the GPL or LGPL you can do anything you want as long as you
    > do not let anyone else use your work, but if you let someone else have a
    > copy of you work you are putting them in a position where that can
    > easily/inadvertently violate the law. I do not want to put clients in
    > legal jeopardy, so I do not use GPL, or LGPLed code.


    You're not putting them in legal jeopardy, they are. It is their decision
    whether or not to violate the licence.


    --
    Steven
     
    Steven D'Aprano, May 15, 2010
    #3
  4. On May 14, 11:19 pm, Steven D'Aprano <st...@REMOVE-THIS-
    cybersource.com.au> wrote:
    > On Fri, 14 May 2010 07:10:50 -0700, Ed Keith wrote:
    > > But if my client give someone else a copy of the binary I gave them,
    > > they are now in violation. I do not want to put my client in this
    > > position.

    >
    > If your client is distributing software without reading and obeying the
    > licence terms, then they are either idiots, or unethical, or possibly
    > both.


    How about just "ignorant." Maybe even "blissfully ignorant" as in,
    you just used permissively-licensed software, and since you're not
    Microsoft and they paid you a fair amount of money for the software
    and you both agreed on a handshake or a back of the napkin contract
    that you could both do whatever you wanted with the software (except
    stripping copyright notices), they go and do exactly that.

    > If you want to make life easier on them by reducing the consequences of
    > such foolish and/or unethical behaviour, that of course is your right.
    > There are good reasons for doing so, and equally good reasons for not.


    Well, for people who don't feel the imperative of the FSF's prime
    directive, the only really good reason for "not" is if you found some
    super-cool GPL-licensed software that will greatly reduce the cost of
    the contract, *and* you can leverage some of the savings into your own
    pocket.

    > It's also their right to ask you to assign copyright to them, or to
    > licence the work using the MIT licence (or similar), or to ask for an
    > exclusive licence. Or even to ask you to sign a "no compete" agreement
    > which prevents you from ever writing code again. It's your choice whether
    > to say Yay or Nay, and if you agree, how much you will charge for it.


    Sure, contracts can be made as simple or complex as the parties want.
    In most cases, reuse of preexisting GPLed software certainly won't
    simplify the negotiations, though. In Texas, though, that particular
    "no-compete" wouldn't fly. I'll sign non-compete clauses like that in
    the blink of an eye; it's the speciously more limited ones that you
    have to watch out for because sometimes the courts will uphold at
    least parts of those: http://www.texasnoncompetelaw.com/

    > > When using the GPL or LGPL you can do anything you want as long as you
    > > do not let anyone else use your work, but if you let someone else have a
    > > copy of you work you are putting them in a position where that can
    > > easily/inadvertently violate the law. I do not want to put clients in
    > > legal jeopardy, so I do not use GPL, or LGPLed code.

    >
    > You're not putting them in legal jeopardy, they are. It is their decision
    > whether or not to violate the licence.


    Uh-huh. If they're in legal jeopardy, you are too (at least in the
    USA) because the first thing they are going to do is to cross-sue you
    for failure to explain to them that you were using GPLed software.
    Doesn't matter if it's not true. Doesn't even matter if you have
    signed contracts that prove it's not true. It's still going to cost
    you a pretty penny to get away from the lawsuit.

    So, really, why go through all that unless it's going to save enough
    on the contract to justify it? Seriously, a software contract can be
    less than half a page under some circumstances, and written so that
    basically you and they can both do whatever you want, and neither is
    going to sue the other.

    Regards,
    Pat
     
    Patrick Maupin, May 15, 2010
    #4
  5. In message <>, Ed Keith
    wrote:

    > But if my client give someone else a copy of the binary I gave them, they
    > are now in violation.


    Why would they be in violation? It seems to me a violation would only occur
    if someone asked them for the source, and they refused.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 16, 2010
    #5
  6. Ed Keith

    Robert Kern Guest

    On 2010-05-16 09:25 , Ed Keith wrote:
    >
    > --- On Sat, 5/15/10, Lawrence D'Oliveiro<_zealand> wrote:
    >
    >> From: Lawrence D'Oliveiro<_zealand>
    >> Subject: Re: Picking a license
    >> To:
    >> Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010, 11:09 PM
    >> In message<>,
    >> Ed Keith
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> But if my client give someone else a copy of the

    >> binary I gave them, they
    >>> are now in violation.

    >>
    >> Why would they be in violation? It seems to me a violation
    >> would only occur
    >> if someone asked them for the source, and they refused.
    >> --
    >> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
    >>

    >
    > No, the GPL makes it clear that the responsibly is on the distributor to either supply the source or written notice, Caveat venditor. The violation exists regardless of whether or not the recipient makes a request.


    No, one of the options for you is that you make the source available upon request.

    --
    Robert Kern

    "I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
    that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
    an underlying truth."
    -- Umberto Eco
     
    Robert Kern, May 18, 2010
    #6
  7. On May 18, 11:03 am, Robert Kern <> wrote:
    > On 2010-05-16 09:25 , Ed Keith wrote:
    > > No, the GPL makes it clear that the responsibly is on the distributor to either supply the source or written notice, Caveat venditor. The violation exists regardless of whether or not the recipient makes a request.

    >
    > No, one of the options for you is that you make the source available upon request.


    Do you have a citation for that? My reading, of both GPL v2 section 3
    and GPL v3 section 6, is that someone distributing GPL licensed object
    must do one of the following:

    - supply the source with the object
    - supply a written offer for source with the object
    - supply a copy of someone else's written offer for source with the
    object (only allowed sometimes)
    - Perhaps verbally communicate an offer (GPL v2 only, very liberal
    reading of 3c, but even then the communication must "accompany" the
    object distribution).
    - supply object by "offering access from a designated place" as long
    as you "offer equivalent access to the Corresponding Source in the
    same way through the same place" or "you maintain clear directions
    next to the object code saying where to find the Corresponding
    Source".

    That last one effectively has "written offer" defined in a slightly
    different way ("maintain clear directions"), and also might allow you
    to just have a pile of source DVDs adjacent to a pile of object CDs
    with no explicit written offer, but I honestly can't see how even that
    can be stretched to cover just handing somebody an object CD without
    even mentioning that source is available, and then only later giving
    them source if they explicitly ask for it.

    Sure, if you give somebody source after they ask for it, you have
    probably "cured" any violation, but I think the very act of handing
    someone an object CD without source or a written offer of source would
    put you in violation of the license at the time you give them the
    object CD. It may be that saying "oh, by the way, source code's
    available if you want it" would suffice in some cases under GPL v2,
    but it doesn't look like that would work at all for GPL v3.

    Regards,
    Pat
     
    Patrick Maupin, May 18, 2010
    #7
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