FAQ section on licenses
bparsia at email.unc.edu
Wed Feb 20 14:32:39 UTC 2002
On 20 Feb 2002, Cees de Groot wrote:
> Bijan Parsia <bparsia at email.unc.edu> said:
> >Hmm. Is this true? "I hereby license blah blah to do whatever I, as
> >copyright holder, can do with this code, including the right to
> >redistrbute under another license" Oh, and if I make the license
> >irrevokable, isn't it the case that I *can't* change existent licenses?
> You can't usually change existing licenses,
Well, for some value of "usually". *Most* licenses are revokable, yes?
> but you can of course change the
> license for newer versions.
That's true. I wonder if you can have a license to "all derivatives made
by the copyright holder". In such a case, assuming irrevokability, it
would seem that the copyright holder is stuck (by their own will, of
If I recall the original answer, it gave me the impression that copyright
holders *always* had "more" rights, but it seems to me that you can
alienate just about everything and still retain copyright. Hmm. Ok, that
doesn't seem like a real objection to the language :)
> >But the viral bit of compliance only happens if you distribute?
> Licensing is about software distribution.
Er...maybe. I mean, someone licensing code to me, distributes it to me,
but doesn't necessarily license *me* to distribute it. This point was made
earlier in the FAQ. The GPL isnt viral in *distributing itself*. Merely
using it doesn't "infect".
> >Yet wikiworks for VisualWorks is so distributed. Since cincom doesn't
> >license it for distribution, I think *they* must be ok. I'm unclear on how
> >non-bundled stuff works.
> They redistribute just the parcel, not linked with non-GPL code. Squeak
> doesn't have such a mechanism (yet),
> you redistribute everything as an image.
I distribute almost nothing as an image.
> The VW method clearly is not linking, the Squeak method arguably is.
It's not clear to me what the difference is between distributing VW with a
parcel you can load, and distributing Squeak with a changeset you can file
in. Once loaded, the parcel is linked, I take it.
Can I distribute a bunch of c files, some gpled, some proprietory that
someone else *can* compile together, that I *intend* for them to so
compile? They aren't linked at point of distribution.
I presume note since, though the source would be exposed, it would not be
> >Or for anything intended for inclusion in the core distro. I'm unclear
> >if/how modules will affect this.
> See above. With modules, the distinction between 'core' (thus 'viral'
> modifications in the distribution image) and 'non-core' (everything that you
> can fetch as a module) will become clearer, and the number of licenses
> applicable to 'non-core' modules will greatly increase.
This isn't clear to me. I seem to recall Andrew suggesting otherwise,
though I may be mistaken.
> >Hmm. Also, for anything you want to distribute *as* an image, I'd
> >guess. I'm not sure how SuperSwiki projects fit in.
> The distribution is putting them on the SuperSwiki. So you could put GPL'ed
> projects on there, because downloading and installing them would constitute
> use, not distribution. Again, you probably couldn't redistribute an image
> containing these.
That's my thought, but I'm not sure it's right :)
While "code" contributions will best, I think, be licensed by Squeak-L, I
do wonder about "content". I.e., if Squeak is to be a kind of
"player" for "active content" we should want the widest possible licensing
Of course, if not being actually loaded in the image at point of
distribution is sufficent, yay. But image segments seems sorta of like
DLLs rather than "non-linked" bits. I *clearly* don't know :) And I
*should* after reading the FAQ :)
(Not a bash *at all*, just making clear that I'm deliberately *not*
looking stuff up so as to remain a "fresh faced faq reader" :))
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