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Subject: Re: Writing plug-ins

Re: Writing plug-ins

From: Jerry Van Baren <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:31:11 -0500

BlueChip wrote:
> No, there never was a fork - (iirc) the thread on this was "there is no
> fork" - a suitable Matrix pun :)
> I fail to see how "PD" can be "GPL compatable", as it (relevantly) does
> not require the code to move, which is the core restraint on GPL that
> offends _my_ moral stance of "freedom for all."

I don't follow your statement "does not require the code to move". I
recognize it as English, but my mind doesn't parse it. What code is
moving where?

If you mix PD code with GPL code, you can still freely use the PD code
in and with closed source code. There _are no restrictions_ on PD code
_by definition_. On the other hand, you cannot mix PD code with GPL
code and then use the resulting _mix_ (which includes GPL code) in
closed source because that violates the license terms of the GPL code
_but not the PD code_.

People that protest the GPL is "viral" are usually looking to use GPL
code in a closed source program. The classic examples being Microsoft,
Sun, and Apple who have benefited greatly by using BSD-licensed code in
their OSes. Apple and Sun have partially "given back" (Darwin and NFS
being examples respectively), but Microsoft is the borg - it has
assimilated code but not given back.

Quoting from the list of GPL-compatible licenses

Public Domain
     Being in the public domain is not a license--rather, it means the
material is not copyrighted and no license is needed. Practically
speaking, though, if a work is in the public domain, it might as well
have an all-permissive non-copyleft free software license. Public domain
status is compatible with the GNU GPL.

One final question (I'm using personal pronouns for convenience, this
isn't meant to be a personal attack): why is _my_ choice of GPL
offending _your_ moral sense? I'm not imposing the GPL on _your_ code,
you can chose to release _your_ code licensed in any GPL-compatible
license you wish, including PD (which is what your moral sense seems to
be saying -- bully for you). You may even chose to release _your_ code
(but not _mine_) as closed source (99.9999% of the software companies in
the world do this every day).

The only thing you _cannot_ do is distribute (re-release) _my_ code
under any license other than GPL unless you negotiate a different
license with me (two examples of people doing this being TrollTech and

Please don't impose your licensing morals on _my_ code thankyouverymuch.


> BC
Received on 2005-01-12

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