[Matroska-general] License Form for TCME

Steve Lhomme steve.lhomme at free.fr
Fri Jan 30 13:13:38 CET 2004

Christian HJ Wiesner wrote:

> *3. QPL single license*
> Pro : Makes forking not so easy, and always obvious to informed users ; 
> allows selling of the program ; patches sent by contributors can be sold 
> also
> Con : Gives the whole project a bad, commercial smell, even if we never 
> plan to market the program
+ not GPL compatible

> *4. GPL single license*
> Pro : well accepted license type with good reputation in the OSS 
> community ; contributors will feel safe about doing so ; free protection 
> from the GNU lawyers in case a company will steal the code ; lot of code 
> out there that could be reused

That's what GNU says when they get the copyright ownership of a 
software. I don't know any case where it actually happened. The GPL has 
never been tested against a real court.

> Con : an invitation to fork the project, as GPL is pro-fork

How many program fork do you know ? When a project gets quite consistent 
with a solid dev involvement there is no good reason to start it again 
to do something very different. (that's also why we should work with the 
GStreamer ppl instead of making WinStreamer if we ever choose this 

> My vote : maybe the best option we have, if we dont make 5.

How about LGPL ? Or BSD ?
After all Xiph use the BSD and noone ever used a fork of their code (or 
maybe OGM can be considered as such ?)

Of course it's very hard to sell the software if the code is LGPL or 
BSD. But IMO wether it's GPL, LGPL or BSD isn't really what you sell. 
You sell some support for the software (which we also offer for free to 
the community) and corrections when needed... What would be sold in the 
commercial version that would not be in the free one ?

> *5. New license, 'Corecodec Public Antifork License'*
> Explanation : We can basically copy some paragraphs from the GPL, but 
> add other paragraph to strictly forbid to fork from the project, means 

That's easy, if you do so you're reinventing the QPL (which is like a 
GPL with patches required).

> For these cases a 'fallback to GPL' should be part of the license, 
> making the program free-software in the terms of the FSF again, to avoid 
> abuse and to help contributors to trust in the goals. I expect that many 
> other projects may also have a use for the license that way.

Believe me, there are really enough OSI licenses around. Making a new 
license is a complicated + long task. And none of us are lawyers... I've 
worked on such a new license for months until I realised the QPL+GPL was 
what I needed.

> Con : people will instantaneously cry : 'yet another license, and why ?' 
> ; higher explanation effort

And more time spent on something other than the actual project...

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