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Author Topic: Question about license.  (Read 831 times)

Fred vS

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Question about license.
« on: June 09, 2022, 05:18:30 pm »
Hello.

I have worked on a forked C project:
https://github.com/fredvs/pcaudiolib_io

Sadly I realize (too late) that the "root" project: https://github.com/espeak-ng/pcaudiolib
has GPL-3.0 license that is not usable for a library.

So the question is:
If I translate the C code into Pascal (or follow the design of the library) and create a Pascal library (of course compatible for C applications, like the original), may I change the license into LGPL (or similar)?
Or is it considered as a "derivative" and GPL is still needed?

Thanks.

Fre;D

I use Lazarus 2.2.0 32/64 and FPC 3.2.2 32/64 on Debian 11 64 bit, Windows 10, Windows 7 32/64, Windows XP 32,  FreeBSD 64.
Widgetset: fpGUI, MSEgui, Win32, GTK2, Qt.

https://github.com/fredvs
https://gitlab.com/fredvs
https://codeberg.org/fredvs

Thaddy

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2022, 05:31:32 pm »
GPL3 - if that is the only licence - is not compatible. It is deliberately restrictieve, even for interfaces.
(Actually that is a good thing.)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2022, 05:35:38 pm by Thaddy »
Manuals, manuals, manuals first.
You have incompetence and sheer incompetence.

Fred vS

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2022, 05:35:11 pm »
GPL3 - if that is the only licence - is not compatible.

Yes, of course for the C fork, but if the C fork was translated into a Pascal project? 
I use Lazarus 2.2.0 32/64 and FPC 3.2.2 32/64 on Debian 11 64 bit, Windows 10, Windows 7 32/64, Windows XP 32,  FreeBSD 64.
Widgetset: fpGUI, MSEgui, Win32, GTK2, Qt.

https://github.com/fredvs
https://gitlab.com/fredvs
https://codeberg.org/fredvs

Thaddy

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2022, 05:38:30 pm »
No, GPL3 tries to guard intellectual property in a much wider sense. Not tied to API's or languages.
So: NO
Any fork must be released under GPL3 without exception and with full sources.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2022, 05:43:18 pm by Thaddy »
Manuals, manuals, manuals first.
You have incompetence and sheer incompetence.

Fred vS

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2022, 05:41:26 pm »
No, GPL3 tries to guard intellectual property in a much wider sense. Not tied to API's or languages.
So: NO

Ok, ok, I forget this project.
I use Lazarus 2.2.0 32/64 and FPC 3.2.2 32/64 on Debian 11 64 bit, Windows 10, Windows 7 32/64, Windows XP 32,  FreeBSD 64.
Widgetset: fpGUI, MSEgui, Win32, GTK2, Qt.

https://github.com/fredvs
https://gitlab.com/fredvs
https://codeberg.org/fredvs

MarkMLl

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2022, 05:45:21 pm »
I think you're entering uncharted territory. I am obviously not a lawyer, but the way I look at it is this:

* The files, unmodified, are the copyrighted property of the original author except where they're a statement of fact. Hence my thread of a few days ago about separating definition and implementation.

* Leaving aside portions which can't be copyrighted due to being a statement of fact, a symbol-by-symbol transcript which preserves the "artistic presentation"- i.e. comments, variable names, and possibly layout- can reasonably be expected to infringe on the copyright of the original author so can reasonably be expected to be subject to his chosen license.

* A cleanroom reimplementation, which relies on an analysis of the original author's code but is provably not a symbol-by-symbol transcript, reasonably certainly does not infringe on his copyright but might infringe on (attempts at) patenting "business methods" etc.

I think that most of us peruse projects on Sourceforge and Github, and use what we've learned as part of our accumulated experience. My own preference is to make "with reference to" attributions in my code so that if it's ever published I can't be accused of evading my responsibilities, and I think that I'd argue that it's no worse than designing equipment or writing a monograph with reference to books and papers in a university library (a company's technical library, which may describe techniques which may only be used under licence, is a different matter).

Finally, I put something on Github a couple of years ago which was a distillation of various material of traceable provenance, which if the rules had been strictly followed couldn't have existed (there was a loop between Torvalds who favours GPL2, some material he'd referred to which was explicitly GPL3, and another party who claimed one of the CCs).

MarkMLl
MT+86 & Turbo Pascal v1 on CCP/M-86, multitasking with LAN & graphics in 128Kb.
Pet hate: people who boast about the size and sophistication of their computer.
GitHub repositories: https://github.com/MarkMLl?tab=repositories

Fred vS

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2022, 05:50:28 pm »
GPL3 - if that is the only licence - is not compatible. It is deliberately restrictieve, even for interfaces.
(Actually that is a good thing.)

IMHO it is a good thing for applications but restrict the license to GPL3 for a library is a few "stingy".
Re-IMHO, for a library, a minimum LGPL is better.

But this is a other story and, of course, the creator is the King and choose what he want.
I use Lazarus 2.2.0 32/64 and FPC 3.2.2 32/64 on Debian 11 64 bit, Windows 10, Windows 7 32/64, Windows XP 32,  FreeBSD 64.
Widgetset: fpGUI, MSEgui, Win32, GTK2, Qt.

https://github.com/fredvs
https://gitlab.com/fredvs
https://codeberg.org/fredvs

Thaddy

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2022, 11:10:45 pm »
No, what is given away for free should always be free. GPL3 keeps free software for free, with the single exception that it can never be used commercially unless due care is taken. ( and I did half of of a law degree because I was bored, 1981/1982)
Manuals, manuals, manuals first.
You have incompetence and sheer incompetence.

MarkMLl

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2022, 08:47:39 am »
No, what is given away for free should always be free. GPL3 keeps free software for free, with the single exception that it can never be used commercially unless due care is taken. ( and I did half of of a law degree because I was bored, 1981/1982)

But what is free? Software builds on foundations provided by others, and reading sourcecode to understand how those foundations can be built upon should be allowed.

OK, let's try another tack. A valid patent makes explicit claims about the nature of the innovation, and provides extensive citations of prior art. Perhaps we should demand that restrictive licenses like the (L)GPL make clear exactly what the author claims to be his own work, otherwise the entire work falls under the Telephone Directory dictum (i.e. the content is a statement of fact so can't be copyrighted, but the presentation can).

MarkMLl
MT+86 & Turbo Pascal v1 on CCP/M-86, multitasking with LAN & graphics in 128Kb.
Pet hate: people who boast about the size and sophistication of their computer.
GitHub repositories: https://github.com/MarkMLl?tab=repositories

SymbolicFrank

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2022, 09:00:43 am »
You cannot copy or translate it, but you can rewrite it.

PascalDragon

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2022, 09:22:30 am »
No, what is given away for free should always be free. GPL3 keeps free software for free, with the single exception that it can never be used commercially unless due care is taken. ( and I did half of of a law degree because I was bored, 1981/1982)

Code that is released as LGPL is free as well. It's just that code using the library does not need to be free. Similar why FPC and Lazarus use a modified LGPL: you can statically link it into your application, but as soon as you modify what is provided by FPC or Lazarus you need to provide your changes (but not your own application code).

af0815

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Re: Question about license.
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2022, 10:12:57 am »
But you can ask the holder of the copyright if it is possible to have a modified LGPL instead of GPL3 for your port. If the code owner say ok, you can change the license for the port. Archive the Mails and all is good.

Personally i have done this way before for a (for me interesting) library and the complicated thing was to find out a working contact. After the first contact, i described why i want to use a more flexible license and i got a okay for this.

It is possible for Code where only one person hold the copyright. If you have code with more copyright holder you need a ok from all.
regards
Andreas

 

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