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Re: The QPL

Peter S Galbraith wrote:
> Richard Braakman wrote:
> > Hmm.  Patches are usually submitted under the same license as the 
> > original work.  I can't think of any exceptions I've ever seen.
> > So if that is all he wants, an X-like license would be fine.  
> That would allow him to do whatever he wanted with the patches,
> including incorporating them into commercial software, right?


> But that would allow anyone to do the same.  He wants to avoid
> someone taking his work (without compensation), slapping a GUI on
> top on it and selling it as a Windows app or something.  The X
> license would allow that.

But he wants to do exactly that with contributed code? :)  Yes, that
requires an asymmetric license.  The ones I know about are the QPL and
the NPL.

> He was almost ready to use the GPL, but I pointed out that once
> people send in patches his work is no longer his alone.  He can't
> turn around, modify the work and sell it without hunting through
> for all patches and re-writing them.

But you say below that he doesn't expect a significant amount
of patches.  Make up your mind ;-)

> > I bet that would attract more people than the QPL would.
> > The QPL is patches-only; 
> We thought of _modifying_ the QPL (say to remove the patch
> clause) but the author thought that would create yet another
> license for people to parse, etc.

Indeed.  Also, the QPL does not allow this.  On the other hand,
I have heard that the text of a contract cannot be copyrighted.

> >                          I would certainly avoid any program
> > under that license.
> That's certainly your choice, but rarely the upstream author's
> loss.  This program has been `available' to the oceanographic
> community for close to ten years, but 99% of it (or more) is
> still the upstream author's code.  I don't think that the threat
> of reduced hacker code input is an argument for him since it
> hasn't been a driving factor so far.

Then why does he want the program to be free?  If he doesn't expect
code input, then perhaps because he wants many people to use it --
people who would not use a non-free program.  I think he could get
even more people to use it if he uses something freer than the QPL.

> Is the patch clause your major hurdle?  Or the fact that he could
> use your 0.1% contribution for profit?

The patches-only clause.  I don't consider such code to be free.
(Notice how carefully I said DFSG-free in my first mail :-)

Richard Braakman

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