Tobias DiPasquale on Fri, 18 Jul 2003 20:32:45 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Which license?

On Fri, 2003-07-18 at 09:36, Kam Salisbury wrote:
> Many thanks for your suggestions Chris. My goal is to just share what I am
> doing (have learned?) without relinquishing the rights to my ideas. From
> what I have seen thus far, it is very difficult to create something open
> source in nature and actually get paid for it unless the completed work is
> a black box and the source is closed (ala' MS). Therefore, I am less
> realistic about getting compensated for the code then I am others actually
> finding the code useful.
> I think I will take a closer look at the BSD license before making up my
> mind... Thanks again.

BSD licensing requires only that anyone who derives from your work
advertise that fact. It will not protect your ideas from commercial
exploitation by a third-party if they so choose and it also yields you
no control over derivative works. I repeat: BSD is not what you want.

GPL will give you control of the work itself and all derivative works,
requiring all of those to be licensed under the same constraints, as
well. For your purposes, GPL and LGPL are the same as far as control of
your idea is concerned: LGPL requires that the core code be GPL, but
unlike the GPL, one can use LGPL-code as a component of a larger system
without requiring all other components to be GPL. 

There are, however, many more licenses than the "GPL vs. BSD" debate,
but that's what most people harp on because they are basically the two
extremes in thought in Open Source these days. You should check for a complete list. I should point out
that the Mozilla Public License is the most prevalent OSS license
currently, not BSD or GPL.

However, the power any licenses have is based on your copyright. This
gives you the ability release your code under any terms you wish. You
are taking a risk, however, since some lawyer could conceivably fsck you
out of control of your own idea. But if you don't find a license you
like you may want to investigate that option.

I hope I've helped. Thanks :)

Tobias DiPasquale
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