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Re: [TSVN] To GPL or not to GPL

From: Molle Bestefich <molle.bestefich_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-08-24 15:23:20 CEST

Nicklas Norling wrote:
> Looking at TSVN (not something this company was looking into
> specifically) I can see that maybe a company would want to
> produce a package for say partners, or remote sites where
> not only the source code of the companys product was included,
> but also a complete concept was sold that included versioning
> and bug tracking, where TSVN is one small part. It's plausible
> to imagine that this company would like to make changes to TSVN,
> such as hard code specific things to avoid mistakes or to force
> policies. E.g. not showing 'Lock' or changing the name of
> TortoiseSVN menu item to Version etc. Small or medium changes
> that is company specific and pretty much nothing TSVN would ever
> consider for inclusion. Maybe modifications to software
> distribution would make TSVN only one component in a much larger
> install file.

What you're talking about sounds to me as 're-labeling'.
Eg. take somebody else's work and slap your own product name on it.
I hope you're not suggesting that that is something we would want :-).

> I think such a scenario is pretty likely and you need to think about
> what in such a usage is ok and what is not.
> Choose the license appropriately.

Good advice.

> My experience was that GPL is so difficult to analyze that companies do
> not really know what/how things should be done and hence they do not wish
> to use software under it unless it's very clear there are no problem.
> If a misstake is made, the "punishment" of having to publically publish
> the entire companys code is unacceptable.

There's also the possibility of stopping distribution of the product, no?
Perhaps release it later without the included GPL source?

> Another thing that might be an important thing to keep in mind is
> contributors. As far as I'm able to tell most contributors do get
> time from there employer to do work that ends up as contributions
> to open source projects.
> This might not always be in the form of code, but testing and feature
> suggestions as well. It would maybe be important to make sure companies
> can download, change, compile and use the source code in a way where
> this will be beneficial for the company so that this, presumably rather
> large group, can continue to contribute efficiently without worrying
> too much about the license issues. Remember that in a company it might
> be expensive enough to just analyze weather or not a license is ok
> for a certain usage that the entire idea is skipped.

There's no issue here (I think).. Anyone can download a GPL project and
modify and use it any way they see fit. You only have to provide the
source code for your modifications if you start publishing your derivative.

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Received on Wed Aug 24 15:23:54 2005

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