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Subject: Re: Writing plug-ins

Re: Writing plug-ins

From: Jerry Van Baren <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 13:49:47 -0500

BlueChip wrote:
>> > If I write a bit of code which is useful (primarily and) mainly to
>> users of
>> > a bit of software which is GPL - I apparently lose my rights to let
>> people
>> > make money with my code.
>> No.
> "No" is true only when the 'user' is willing and able to conform to:
> "The one exception is the required written offer to provide source code
> that must accompany binary-only release."
> Which (aside of being grammatically incorrect) precludes the/your/my
> code from being used in most secure applications.
> "Open747, the first choice of Boeing" ain't gonna sell many airline
> tickets.
> LOL ...If *I* knew *my* code were flying the plane, I, for one, would
> not be on it - LOL
>> > PS. Just an after-thought: If *I* want to use (portions of) my code,
>> which
>> > has been copy-left infected, in a commercial product... do I also
>> lose the
>> > rights to what was originally my own "Intellectual Property"?
>> No.
> "To release a non-free program is always ethically tainted"
> LOL ...your ethics are "tainted" (whatever that means) if you write
> software for a living - Sounds more like a bit of "Bill Bashing" to me -
> BlueChip

Methinks thou protesteth too much. If you don't like GPL, release your
code as public domain.
1) Your PD code can be put in a GPL work.
2) Microsoft can put it in Windows and sell it (e.g. you allow them to
make money off your code).

WRT your secure applications objection, arguably the best security
related programs are Open Source (e.g. implementations of ssl). Time
and again, people have implemented security systems using closed source,
which severely limits peer review, only to find that their security has
some fundamental flaws. One classic example of this is CSS.

WRT viral infection, there is no end of rebuttal to that old horse.

If GPL is viral in its terms, have you actually _read_ the licensing
terms of a commercial program? Talk about nasty restrictions! Just to
prolong this argument, imagine you wrote a program that runs under
Microsoft Windows XP and you figured you could become a billionaire
selling it. Since it runs under Windows XP, that means your customer
needs to install Windows XP on his PC first (he may currently have
Windows ME, or even <gasp>linux</gasp>) before he can use your program.
  What kind of license can you negotiate with Microsoft to allow you to
include copies of Windows XP along with your "killer app"? Will it be
better than GPL? Well, it depends... but I suspect that it would take a
pretty specific definition of what "better" means to qualify as such.

Received on 2005-01-11

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