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GNU License

You are using the "GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE"
and not the lesser "GNU Library General Public License".
So it is not allowed to write and give away an application that
uses your library without open the source code of
the whole application. You offer other licence as well
but this is not what I like to ask. My question is:

If someone read your source code to write an "ice" library
in a different language to support a different language
mapping using your protocol. It is allowed to use the
GNU Library General Public License for that new library?

Martin

Comments

  • marcmarc FloridaAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Marc LaukienOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: The Internet Communications Engine ZeroC Staff
    Re: GNU License
    Originally posted by Martin.Both
    You are using the "GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE"
    and not the lesser "GNU Library General Public License".
    So it is not allowed to write and give away an application that
    uses your library without open the source code of
    the whole application. You offer other licence as well
    but this is not what I like to ask. My question is:

    If someone read your source code to write an "ice" library
    in a different language to support a different language
    mapping using your protocol. It is allowed to use the
    GNU Library General Public License for that new library?

    Martin

    Absolutely. You can use any license you like in this case. You only must use the GPL if you use or translate our code. But just looking at our code to see how things work, and then making a clean-room implementation, doesn't mean that you must use GPL for your code.
  • marlowamarlowa Member Andrew MarlowOrganization: Wellabove LtdProject: study into feasibility of ice on WINCE project ✭✭
    Re: GNU License
    Originally posted by Martin.Both
    You are using the "GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE"
    and not the lesser "GNU Library General Public License".
    So it is not allowed to write and give away an application that
    uses your library without open the source code of
    the whole application.
    Martin

    I think that the GPL places restrictions on derivative works but AFAICS, a commercial product that simply uses Ice is not a derivative work, in just the same way that a project built using GCC is not a derivative work of GCC.

    The Ice license arrangements seem to me to be very similar to what TrollTech does with their Qt product except that Ice does not advertise the other license that is part of a dual license policy (TrollTech have the GPL and the QPL).

    IMO it would be good if the Ice developers can confirm that a project that merely uses Ice will not be bound by the GPL.

    -apm
  • michimichi Member Michi HenningOrganization: Triodia TechnologiesProject: I have a passing interest in Ice :-) ✭✭✭
    Re: Re: GNU License
    Originally posted by marlowa
    IMO it would be good if the Ice developers can confirm that a project that merely uses Ice will not be bound by the GPL.

    -apm

    Hmmm... No, that's not the intent -- if you use Ice to develop software (that is, use Ice to take care of your application's communication requirements), you are bound by the GPL, that is, you have contaminated your source. I can't see any other interpretation -- "merely uses" means that the application makes use of Ice in some way. To put this differently, I can't see what you might have in mind as "non-merely use".

    Cheers,

    Michi.
  • marlowamarlowa Member Andrew MarlowOrganization: Wellabove LtdProject: study into feasibility of ice on WINCE project ✭✭
    Re: Re: Re: GNU License
    Originally posted by michi
    Hmmm... No, that's not the intent -- if you use Ice to develop software (that is, use Ice to take care of your application's communication requirements), you are bound by the GPL, that is, you have contaminated your source. I can't see any other interpretation -- "merely uses" means that the application makes use of Ice in some way. To put this differently, I can't see what you might have in mind as "non-merely use".

    Cheers,

    Michi.

    Ok, thanks for clearing that point up. It seems like this is a strict interpretation of the GPL (which is ok), i.e. a work becomes derivative because it includes library code. GCC is an exception to the rule via the Lesser GPL. Perhaps this point could be a bit more prominent on the web site?
  • gcc is not an exception of the rule.

    gcc is using the GPL. But the libraries (glibc for example) are
    using mostly the Lesser GPL. If I write my own C programm
    I don't need to deliver gcc together with my application.
    I just need the (runtime) libraries which may have different
    license than GPL. The ice library is using the full GPL.

    It is very clear now I think.

    I would write my own slice2xx as I did it for CORBA
    with IDL2VB to support VisualBasic using the Lesser GPL
    if someone could give me more time... :(

    Martin
  • marcmarc FloridaAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Marc LaukienOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: The Internet Communications Engine ZeroC Staff
    BTW, there is an excellent FAQ for the GPL:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

    In particular, have a look at this link:

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

    As long as your own software is GPL'd, Ice is completely free for you. You only need to pay us if you want to use Ice for projects that you want to sell and distribute under a different license agreement.

    We believe that this is a fair deal: Everybody who wants to write free software can use Ice for free. And everybody who wants to write non-free software can do so as well, but then we would like to get a fair share of the profits. It's "we make money only if you make money".

    We do not intend to have a support-funded business model. We intend to license Ice for commercial projects and make a living from that. This model is for example very similar to Sleepycat's Berkeley DB, who are doing very well with this approach.
  • marlowamarlowa Member Andrew MarlowOrganization: Wellabove LtdProject: study into feasibility of ice on WINCE project ✭✭
    Originally posted by marc
    We do not intend to have a support-funded business model. We intend to license Ice for commercial projects and make a living from that. This model is for example very similar to Sleepycat's Berkeley DB, who are doing very well with this approach.

    I was unware that Sleepycat's Berkeley DB had such a license. Does this mean that if I developed a commercial application that used the persistence service of Ice I would have to purchase TWO licenses? It looks like that way to me. Perhaps this should be stated in the dependency information.

    -Andrew
  • marcmarc FloridaAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Marc LaukienOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: The Internet Communications Engine ZeroC Staff
    Originally posted by marlowa
    I was unware that Sleepycat's Berkeley DB had such a license. Does this mean that if I developed a commercial application that used the persistence service of Ice I would have to purchase TWO licenses? It looks like that way to me. Perhaps this should be stated in the dependency information.

    -Andrew

    No, Sleepycat's Berekely DB will be included in our commercial licenses. We work together with Sleepycat on this issue. We did so successful in the past for other projects, and were always very happy with working together with them.
  • UrsUrs Member
    Originally posted by marc
    ... We intend to license Ice for commercial projects and make a living from that. ...

    Hi Marc

    This is ok.
    But I don't find anything about the costs of license for commercial projects.
    Which kind of license model you are using for commercial projects?
    (Sorry for my bad English) ;-)

    Best regards
    Urs
  • marcmarc FloridaAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Marc LaukienOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: The Internet Communications Engine ZeroC Staff
    Originally posted by Urs
    Hi Marc

    This is ok.
    But I don't find anything about the costs of license for commercial projects.
    Which kind of license model you are using for commercial projects?
    (Sorry for my bad English) ;-)

    Best regards
    Urs

    Hi Urs,

    Well, we just released Ice a few days ago, and we really didn't think that we would get a lot of commercial licensing requests just a few days after the first public release.

    However, it looks as if we were wrong: We got a lot of such requests, many more than we thought! This is of course a pleasant surprise :) Looks as if we indeed hit the nerve of many OO middleware developers, who are tired of vaporware, outdated technology, vendor turf battles, and who need a middleware that "simply works".

    In any case, please give us a little bit more time to come up with an official commercial licensing model. We are currently in email contact with several prospects, and we first want to get a good feeling for their needs before we settle on any particular model.

    If you can send us more information about how you would like to use Ice for a commercial product, this would be very helpful for us, too.

    Thanks,
    Marc
  • BruceBruce Member
    Originally posted by marc

    Well, we just released Ice a few days ago, and we really didn't think that we would get a lot of commercial licensing requests just a few days after the first public release.

    I also am keen to get some indication of your commercial licensing
    plans. I can't promote your product in my company, or reasonably
    spend significant time on research, until I can give my employer
    some sort of ballpark figures.
  • marlowamarlowa Member Andrew MarlowOrganization: Wellabove LtdProject: study into feasibility of ice on WINCE project ✭✭
    Originally posted by Bruce
    I also am keen to get some indication of your commercial licensing
    plans. I can't promote your product in my company, or reasonably
    spend significant time on research, until I can give my employer
    some sort of ballpark figures.

    Indeed, I am in a similar situation except that the costs I need to know about would be for the Solaris version as well as the Windoze version.

    -Andrew M.
  • JulianJulian Member
    We believe that this is a fair deal: Everybody who wants to write free software can use Ice for free. And everybody who wants to write non-free software can do so as well, but then we would like to get a fair share of the profits. It's "we make money only if you make money".
    Yes, that's a fair deal, except problem with the GPL is that it does not deal with "free" but "open-source". Say a developper wants to make a free application but don't want to show his source: he can't. Say a developper wants to make a non-free application and does not mind to show his source and accept derived work: he can. That's what always bothered me about the GPL: of course, few commercial products would propose open-source and take the risk of having a derived work killing their market, but on the other hand, it gets impossible to develop a free closed-source application.
    If you want to go for a free product==no fee, commercial product==fee, then I'd recommand to use another license. That being said, I congratulate you for ICE and I do hope you'll get a lot of commercial licensing requests.
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