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    posted a message on So who here uses the GPL with a project that uses Ace3?
    Quote from Adirelle
    That particular point is wrong. The GPL applies to the project as a whole, including all libraries (with the notable exception of system libraries). If one part of the project is incompatible with the GPL then you can not license the project with the GPL.


    No actually, you can include permission to link against specific commercial libraries without breaking the GPL as per the GNU FAQ:

    For GPL 3:
    Additional permission under GNU GPL version 3 section 7
    If you modify this Program, or any covered work, by linking or combining it with [name of library] (or a modified version of that library), containing parts covered by the terms of [name of library's license], the licensors of this Program grant you additional permission to convey the resulting work. {Corresponding Source for a non-source form of such a combination shall include the source code for the parts of [name of library] used as well as that of the covered work.}


    For GPL2:

    Linking [name of your program] statically or dynamically with other modules is making a combined work based on [name of your program]. Thus, the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License cover the whole combination.
    In addition, as a special exception, the copyright holders of [name of your program] give you permission to combine [name of your program] with free software programs or libraries that are released under the GNU LGPL and with code included in the standard release of [name of library] under the [name of library's license] (or modified versions of such code, with unchanged license). You may copy and distribute such a system following the terms of the GNU GPL for [name of your program] and the licenses of the other code concerned{, provided that you include the source code of that other code when and as the GNU GPL requires distribution of source code}.
    Note that people who make modified versions of [name of your program] are not obligated to grant this special exception for their modified versions; it is their choice whether to do so. The GNU General Public License gives permission to release a modified version without this exception; this exception also makes it possible to release a modified version which carries forward this exception.
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on So who here uses the GPL with a project that uses Ace3?
    Let it be said that I'm not a lawyer either, nor do I use ACE 3, so my input may be unwelcome here, but I felt it may be pertinent to mention a few facts.

    Of course it matters what the licence is, even for AddOns... saying licenses doesn't apply because it's just a silly addon is almost insulting to us addon authors. We spend a lot of time working on this code and it's as legitimate for us to want to protect it as it is for any other sofware engineer.

    As far as I understand the implications of a Library being used for a GPL code base, you're completely free to do whatever you want. ie: A GPL project can totally incorporate non-GPL libraries, even completely proprietary commercial libraries without problems.

    The converse is not the case, your commercial code cannot incorporate GPL libraries. It can incorporate LGPL libraries, but as soon as it incorporates GPL libs, it gets tainted as GPL itself.

    If you're merging two or more code bases into a single binary, one of which is GPL, the other must be GPL compatible, and the result has to be GPL.

    HOWEVER, the fact that none of this code is distributed in binary form, and is compiled by the WoW lua interpreter, at runtime, by the user even completely removes the intermingling GPL vs non-GPL part of the argument.

    The only thing you have to worry about is the commerciality/non-openness of WoW. And because it's the designated purpose for WoW addons to be able to be compiled and interoperate with WoW, an implicit licence is extended to the users to do so. ie: It doesn't have to be said that wow addons are meant to run in WoW.

    The only thing that remains to be concerned about is distribution rights for the code.

    ACE 3 has given everyone a free licence to distribute their code with your addon as long as it's embedded.

    You do not have automatic licence to distribute it by itself. If you have a good reason to do so you may be able to convince the authors to extend you distribution rights. But from what I see, it's not a real problem if you're doing the right thing.

    Don't get confused by all this library this, binary that... it doesn't apply when we're talking about distributing source code. All that matters is distribution rights.

    Norganna.
    http://norganna.org
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on GPL licensing of addons and libraries
    Quote from cladhaire »

    Does that invalidate the following:

    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfLibraryIsGPL

    If a library is released under the GPL (not the LGPL), does that mean that any program which uses it has to be under the GPL?
    Yes, because the program as it is actually run includes the library.

    The fact of the matter is, these addons do not function without Ace, they are fully dependent on them. In that way, we're not bundling and combing software, but again, IANAL, which is why I'm asking. The statement I posted is the heart of the bulk of the concerns here.


    Was that question directed at my above post? If it was, I believe I answered this question, but I'll try saying it a different way, and in as easy terminology as I can.

    GPL-compatible means that the terms of the "other" license are compatible with all the terms of the GPL. In the case of the MIT license for example, it is more liberal so you may convert it to GPL and still fulfil all the obligations of the original license. The new license would be more restrictive than the original license but still fulfil the original terms.

    Now when you are distributing your package (which includes the bundled WowAce code), you are distributing 2 things.
    • MIT licensed addon
    • GPL licensed library

    As long as both components have their license terms clearly displayed, you're all kosher. Following me still?

    Ok, now the user puts these into their AddOns folder, and starts up WoW. WoW compiles the 2 addon's source code into it's shared memory space.

    By linking with and using the facilities provided by the GPL licenced code, your addon's compiled bytecode is now GPL.

    It has to be, since the combined work as it exists would be impossible to exist under the MIT license, but the GPL license manages to cover both the MIT terms and the GPL terms

    This doesn't mean that the source code loses any of it's MIT goodness. Only the compiled result does, and when WoW closes, that goes away.
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on GPL licensing of addons and libraries
    Ok, now here's where you're all getting confused.

    The thing is that we are not combining anything. We are giving the user a bundle of source code for libraries, and addons, which all have compatible licenses. The user is then taking those packages, and running them under an interpreted language.

    As soon as this happens, a whole different set of rules kick in.

    I would like to point you specifically to this FAQ question and the one after:
    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhatIsCompatible

    I'll quote here to save some time:
    What does it mean to say that two licenses are "compatible"?
    In order to combine two programs (or substantial parts of them) into a larger work, you need to have permission to use both programs in this way. If the two programs' licenses permit this, they are compatible. If there is no way to satisfy both licenses at once, they are incompatible.
    For some licenses, the way in which the combination is made may affect whether they are compatible--for instance, they may allow linking two modules together, but not allow merging their code into one module.

    What does it mean to say a license is "compatible with the GPL".
    It means that the other license and the GNU GPL are compatible; you can combine code released under the other license with code released under the GNU GPL in one larger program.
    The GPL permits such a combination provided it is released under the GNU GPL. The other license is compatible with the GPL if it permits this too.


    Now see what's happened here? If there's component A released under a MIT licence combined and linked with library B released under GPL, because the MIT license is "Compatible" with the GNU license, the new combined work is now under the GPL license. But the combined work only exists in the users memory and when they quit wow, it will disappear forever.

    So yes, your MIT code "became" GPL by linking it against a GPL library, but the source code on the drive is still MIT licenced.

    What they are saying is that you can't take a GPL library and put it in an MIT program and distribute the compiled result under the MIT license, because you would be breaching the GPL's terms by doing so. The MIT license is more liberal than the GPL and saying that the whole thing is MIT breaches the GPL.
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on GPL licensing of addons and libraries
    LGPL vs GPL

    LGPL is essentially GPL + the ability to use with non-"Free Software"

    However being LGPL does not reduce your rights on your code.
    • People can't just come and take you code. It's still your code, and it still must be contained under the LGPL with all that entails (open source, code tainting on everything that's added to it, taken from it etc)
    • LGPL can be forked to a full GPL license. Anyone may convert it to GPL, but once converted to GPL, that fork may never be converted back.
    • Anyone who takes your code can't change the way it fundamentally works. They must maintain the functionality of the library

    Fundamentally, it comes down to a single motivating difference:
    GPL encourages people who may have been thinking of using your library for commercial projects to either go open-source, or find a different library. LGPL allows these people to make money off your hard work and does nothing for the community.

    WowAce being GPL'd does not force you to use the GPL license for your addon.

    This discussion on what license WowAce is released under does not affect you directly. Currently you are using WowAce without license. This is bad for you because you could be sued for remedies by any one of the people who have committed code to the WowAce library that you are using without permission. Anything is better than what you've got at the moment.

    However you're not being forced to do anything apart from choose to be "Free Software". This simply means that you'll chose a license which is compatible with the fundamental tennets of "Free Software".

    You may use any of these GPL compatible free software licenses for your addon.

    If you like MIT/X11 or Modified BSD (removed Advertising clause) or even Public Domain, go ahead.

    You're already being forced to be open-source by the uncompiled nature of the wow addons. The only thing you're really being "forced" to do is to make a decision about your licensing (and really, it's quite sad that many addons out there do not have licenses because people are too lazy to think about it)

    There are many "Free Software" licenses which are compatible with GPL, and you're almost certainly able to find one that meets your needs. The only reason the choice for WowAce to go GPL will affect you is if you were considering using a non-free license for your addon. And really, if you are considering making money off the hard work of others and are going to be negatively impacted by this decision, I have no sympathy for you.

    The issues that ckknight is discussing, concerns only the forking and re-integration of changes to WowAce itself. Whether GPL or LGPL is best for this situation is not any of my concern. Both have their own merits, and the development team should choose which one benfits them most and negatively impacts them least.
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on GPL licensing of addons and libraries
    Quote from Codayus »

    That's sounds fairly clear, and would indicate WoW addons wouldn't work under the vanilla GPL (without an explicit added exception anyhow).


    Actually:
    http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#InterpreterIncompat
    ...If you wrote and released the program under the GPL, and you designed it specifically to work with those facilities, people can take that as an implicit exception permitting them to link it with those facilities. But if that is what you intend, it is better to say so explicitly.


    What they are saying is that due to the fact that the code was purpose built for WoW, it is implied that it is OK to use the code in that fashion. It's probably a good idea to point this out however in an addendum to the licence condition.

    Quote from dafire »

    The only "problem" I see with the gpl is that when ace is gpl'd every addon that uses ace also has to be licensed under the gpl... Changing the license of a widely used library might result in unforseen problems .9

    I guess a solution would be a new major revision which is licensed under the gpl .. so current addons are not affected by the change I guess.

    As licence changes do not occur retroactively, you are completely welcome to use the current version under it's existing licence for as long as you wish... Oh wait, there is no existing licence. You're currently using it illegally. Sorry :p

    Quote from teedog »

    Quote from coredump »

    I'm not finding it right now, but isn't there a clause of (EULA|TOC) that states that Addons are automatically Blizzard's Int. Property?


    Found this from quick skimming, #2 in the TOS:
    All rights and title in and to the Program and the Service (including without limitation any user accounts, titles, computer code, themes, objects, characters, character names, stories, dialogue, catch phrases, locations, concepts, artwork, animations, sounds, musical compositions, audio-visual effects, methods of operation, moral rights, any related documentation, "applets" incorporated into the Program, transcripts of the chat rooms, character profile information, recordings of games played on the Program, and the Program client and server software) are owned by Blizzard or its licensors.

    source: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.html
    (emphasis added by me)

    Does "applets" include addons written in LUA loaded into memory by WoW? I find it hard to imagine that Blizzard can assert ownership over every addon ever written for WoW.


    Whether or not the EULA states that they own the addon, or applets == addons, no user, using your addon in WoW has the right to reassign copyright of what is not theirs away from the original author of that code.

    You wrote the code in a text editor. You own the copyright. You may assign your copyrighted code a licence or assign your copyright to whomever you wish. However an end user, loading your code into a game does not have the right to reassign your copyright, no matter what the game's EULA states.
    Posted in: General Chat
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