Creative Common Copyright Notice in Standalones

Jan Schenkel janschenkel at
Sun Jan 16 08:29:39 EST 2011

--- On Tue, 1/11/11, David Bovill <david at> wrote:
> [snip]
> This sounds like the same mix of requirements that I think
> will work best
> for a number of developers. That is:
>    1. Open source libraries that you can use
> freely, modify, and combine
>    with other peoples source code from the
> community
>    2. Ensure that accreditation is given to
> the main contributors
>    3. Give the maximum legal protection to
> the authors - so they can sleep
>    at night
> But, I think we would agree that we'd also like:
>    - To allow individuals and commercial
> companies to release software which
>    combines their own closed code along side
> the above open source - without
>    forcing them to open their code.
>    - But to as strongly as possible
> encourage authors to feed back useful
>    improvements to the core libraries, and
> not simply take the benefits without
>    contributing back.
> It is that latter two points that tend to contradict each
> other. If you want
> to allow companies the (non-viral) freedom to release
> software that uses the
> library - then you can use a permissive (ie MIT/X11 style)
> license. But then
> this contradicts the second intention - and people can
> easily just take and
> not go to the trouble of feeding back. In this situation
> authors can take
> advantage of dual licensing. I'm not entirely sure, but it
> feels like this
> is the contradiction you are wrestling with?
> As an example of this, I'll be releasing my code under both
> GPL and a closed
> commercial license. Educators, hobbyists and members of the
> community can
> use all of it for free in commercial or non-commercial
> apps, but they must
> publish the full source code of their apps, so that any
> modifications or
> additions can be rolled back into core code by the
> community. This is fully
> viral. However, anyone wishing to include parts or all of
> this code in
> closed apps can do so by taking out a separate closed
> license, which will
> come as one of the benefits of taking out an annual
> subscription to the
> project.
> This can be done on a per-project basis, but I also think
> (for reasons of
> scale), it will be useful to have a general community owned
> project in which
> any commercial revenue is re-invested in new open source
> code paid directly
> to freelance members of the community. This community
> project is what I am
> working on as part of Live Code TV, with the aim of
> launching it at the
> forthcoming conference. A good chunk of it will be the
> legal framework
> needed to make this run smoothly, but there will also be a
> bunch of tools to
> make the sharing as painless and fun as possible.

It does look like we have have little choice if we want strong protection. Like you, I'm leaning towards the xGPL licenses, combined with a closed commercial license.

What worries me about it, is its viral nature in combination with LiveCode. While one could argue that the LiveCode "engine" doesn't have to be GPL, there are a few murky areas regarding the IDE and Externals.

If a stack uses the Geometry manager, and thus needs the revGeometry script to function correctly, should that script also be under a GPL-compatible license? Same question for Externals, can you combine the GPL work with commercial closed externals?

Jan Schenkel.
Quartam Reports & PDF Library for LiveCode

"As we grow older, we grow both wiser and more foolish at the same time."  (La Rochefoucauld)


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