Autor Thema: Source code license.  (Gelesen 548 mal)

Offline Van de Bugger

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Source code license.
« am: 19. April 2011, 23:02:09 »
Hi all,

I started to checking license of Opencaching and its components (listed in code/htdocs/doc2/license.txt). That text declares the Opencaching code is released under GPL v2 (or later). Then I read many texts in the net about licensing, how to apply them, etc.

My conclusions:

1. GPL is not very suitable for code running on web service. GPL license mandates to distribute source code only if somebody releases (distributes) the program. If program runs at the web server, it is not distribution. Thus, somebody may grab Opencaching sources, run his own server, improve it and do not share changes with us.

2. Affero GPL (AGPL) is designed for code running on web servers. It mandates the server owner to share code source.

3. There are some rules how to apply license to code. For example, every file must contain copyright statement with one or two more paragraphs about licensing conditions. (But it is not strictly followed in Opencaching code.)

4. We have track carefully all the files (either source code (e. g. *.php) or any resources (pictures, style sheets, etc)) — whether it belongs to Opencaching project (and covered by Opencaching license) or is 3rd party component (and should be covered by a license compatible with Opencaching license). It is especially important for modified components.

When I am studying sources and trying to clarify their origin, I can update files with required information. But I need two items:

1. Agreement on the license. (AGPL?)
2. The name of copyright holder. (opencaching.de?)

Please confirm (or comment).
« Letzte Änderung: 20. April 2011, 00:15:32 von Van de Bugger »

oliver

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #1 am: 22. April 2011, 13:24:26 »
AGPL sounds reasonable.
Is it possible to use LGPL and GPL-components inside a AGPL-project?

Can we use

"http://forum.opencaching-network.org"
or
"Opencaching Network Group"

as copyright holder?

oliver

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #2 am: 22. April 2011, 13:45:11 »
What do you think about the addition in the current license.txt?

Zitat
In addition to the GNU GPL:

 You have to name and/or link opencaching(.de) to your customers as
 original author of the used parts in your implementation.

 (...)

 If you are using this source code to establish a geocache listing service
 or some sort of service which can be compared with it, you agree to
 populate your geocaching data via XML the same way and under the same
 (or less restrictive) conditions as opencaching.de does.

I know, this is not covered or vaild by the GPL.

Offline Van de Bugger

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #3 am: 22. April 2011, 22:42:51 »
AGPL sounds reasonable.
Is it possible to use LGPL and GPL-components inside a AGPL-project?

I am pretty sure yes. GPL components are explicitly allowed by chapter 13 (and vice versa: chapter 13 of GPL explicitly allows using AGPL components).

See also: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html#new-compatible-licenses

Can we use

"http://forum.opencaching-network.org"
or
"Opencaching Network Group"

as copyright holder?

I am not sure. Sorry, I am not a lawyer. :-( Look at http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Copyright+holder (search for "Holders of a Copyright"):

> A copyright is initially owned by the author or authors of the work, except in the case of a "work for hire."

GPL FAQ:

> Our lawyers have told us that to be in the best position to enforce the GPL in court against violators, we should keep the copyright status of the program as simple as possible.

So, this was you who started the Opencaching? Why don't we use just your name?

Offline Van de Bugger

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #4 am: 22. April 2011, 22:48:37 »
What do you think about the addition in the current license.txt?

Zitat
In addition to the GNU GPL:

 You have to name and/or link opencaching(.de) to your customers as
 original author of the used parts in your implementation.

 (...)

 If you are using this source code to establish a geocache listing service
 or some sort of service which can be compared with it, you agree to
 populate your geocaching data via XML the same way and under the same
 (or less restrictive) conditions as opencaching.de does.

I know, this is not covered or vaild by the GPL.

Yes, I noticed it (just decided not to overload initial post with details). GPL gives a lot of freedom and does not allow to limit it, but this is definitely a restriction.

Are you going insist on it or just drop and forgot?

oliver

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #5 am: 22. April 2011, 23:15:52 »
Are you going insist on it or just drop and forgot?

I dont know.
It is as you said, the GPL forbids additional restrictions.

We have the options:
1) dont publish the source code to be available for everyone
2) request to do it, but not make it as a requirement

Many people would save a lot of time for their own project when using our source code.
If they make a geocaching service, i would like to see their listings in our OC network.

There have been some requests in the past to receive the source and i know here in germany are some people that would like to compete with us, but dont want to develop their own code from ground up.

What do you and the others think?
« Letzte Änderung: 22. April 2011, 23:18:39 von oliver »

Offline Van de Bugger

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #6 am: 23. April 2011, 00:09:13 »
Are you going insist on it or just drop and forgot?

I dont know.
It is as you said, the GPL forbids additional restrictions.

We have the options:
1) dont publish the source code to be available for everyone
2) request to do it, but not make it as a requirement

Many people would save a lot of time for their own project when using our source code.
If they make a geocaching service, i would like to see their listings in our OC network.

There have been some requests in the past to receive the source and i know here in germany are some people that would like to compete with us, but dont want to develop their own code from ground up.

What do you and the others think?

Ho-ho-ho... It is very complicated question... I understand your desire not to encourage your competitors, but I am afraid it is too hard and too complicated. Let me remind you how I get access to the source code: (1) I send a request to you, (2) you asked will I share listing with other sites, (3) I replied "sure" and (4) voila, got access... That's all. If I am not a honest man, I could immediately forget my promise. Or keep my promise but pass the sources to the 3rd party without asking them any obligations. Or just point you that code is GPLed and your requirement is illegal.

The only (visible to me) way is never share your code. It is allowed by GPL: you can modify GPLed code, run it on your server(s). Since you do not distribute your program you do not have to pass sources. But this means "no Opencaching network, just Opencaching.de". Or you is the only owner/holder of the entire network. Or your company... Do you want this? (Why not? That's probably a dream for many people — making many from hobby for life and another hobby.)

Regarding to me... Probably I would like to spend more time on hiding and searching caches rather than sitting in front of the monitor. But also I would like to make some contribution to OpenSource community. Why not to combine two my hobbies: OpenSource and Caching? So I would like to contribute to Opencaching. (The reason why I do not contribute to Geocaching.SU is simple: It is not open. Sources are not free, owners are unknown, unwilling to talk, unfriendly to me etc. I do not like the idea spending my efforts for someone else profit.) Thus, I want to have a good Opencaching node in Russia. Whether it would be my own node or not — is not very important to me, at least now, because maintaining all this stuff requires a lot of time (and some money). (Probably I will change my mind in future, when I finally start Russian node.)

> ...some people that would like to compete with us, but dont want to develop their own code from ground up.

Do you think they had a chance to beat your well-known site? What if they have more time/energy/money and their site would be better than your? Would you give up and take some rest (just searching for the caches, not for bugs in software)? And, when their energy is exhausted, get their code and reincarnate your site?

Thus... No conclusion. Just assorted thoughts and impressions... And thanks for your efforts.

oliver

  • Gast
Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #7 am: 23. April 2011, 11:48:51 »
Or you is the only owner/holder of the entire network. Or your company... Do you want this?

I realy dont want that.
I would have started with the project in another way in 2005, if that would be my goal ...

If the price for the OC network is to host the source as real open-source-project, we will pay it.

Offline OlofL

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #8 am: 23. April 2011, 12:57:29 »
I was under the impression that we had almost no problem. I elaborated on this in the polish forum last autumn, http://forum.opencaching.pl/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=5596&start=30
and the conclusion from we was that:
Zitat
I've gone through all the liceneses involved (or all the licenses in Oliver's list). If we would like to distribute the code to anyone there is really only one issue. It is the Garmin Plugin interface code which should probably be downloaded separately to the host.

The GPL, LGPL and MIT poses no problem except that GPL says that we must distribute it to those who run the software (site operators). The LGPL could have posed problems if we didn't distribute it and at the same time not able to link to the latest versions of a library under LGPL.

Zitat
at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License

Zitat
    ...Copyleft applies only when a person seeks to redistribute the program. One is allowed to make private modified versions, without any obligation to divulge the modifications as long as the modified software is not distributed to anyone else. Note that the copyleft applies only to the software and not to its output (unless that output is itself a derivative work of the program). For example, a public web portal running a modified derivative of a GPL'ed content management system is not required to distribute its changes to the underlying software because its output is not a derivative...


I interpret this as
- We can run a site without any obligation to distribute its source, no matter if they are modified or not
- If we distribute its source we need to retain and redistribute its components licenses.
- The work as a "whole" gets infected by the GPL-virus and we cannot distribute it as a whole under any other license than GPL.

I also interpret that we need a page (perhaps on our wiki) that gives attribution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attributio ... pyright%29) to those different copyright holders of source, icons, images etc on our site.

Offline Van de Bugger

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #9 am: 05. Mai 2011, 22:39:27 »
I was under the impression that we had almost no problem. <...>

The only problem that we do not have a decision yet.

Offline OlofL

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #10 am: 07. Mai 2011, 08:18:26 »
Then my vote is that we do not release the code as a whole under a specific license, and instead make all the components available under the different licenses of each component.

Offline biboleck30

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Re: Source code license.
« Antwort #11 am: 13. August 2011, 23:06:56 »
The question which came to my mind was: Using a lot of different licences for different parts of the source code looks a bit like security by obscurity to me. It would be like confusing others by using a lot of licenses in a network of different things which anybody could resolve on his own.
Well: Are there any alternatives to the AGPL licence available on an international which would help us to protect both the merits of the projects and allow it to be developed further without creating further competitors without contributions to it? If not, can we apply licenses on national level which do not interfer with each other?