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Re: gpl licensing

From: Rui Miguel Silva Seabra
Subject: Re: gpl licensing
Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2006 12:42:25 +0000

Sex, 2006-12-01 às 03:04 -0800, miguelx6 escreveu:
> Hello,
> I'm going to develop a project for public administration. They will be
> the users of this software, they are not going to sell it. After
> finishing the project, I have to deliver all the sources to them, so I
> will not own the sources after that. My question is, could I use gpl
> libraries? I am working for a company and they are going to pay us for
> this project, but, as I am delivering them all the sources, I suppose
> ther should be any problem.

Of course you can use GNU GPL'ed libraries.

Usually public administrations demand source code because there's a
tendency to create vendor lock-in by holding the software modification
hostage to the company that originally wrote the software (vide
Microsoft Windows, for instance).

So when PA orders software, they order access to code.

If you develop software using GNU GPL'ed libraries, you have to
redistribute the derivatives under the same terms, but in this case
you're developing on the behalf of someone else, and on common
informatics & copyright laws the responsability is upon the entity which
ordered the software.

This means that as you developed it using GNU GPL'ed libraries, the PA
will not be able to redistribute that software as proprietary software.

If you think straight, it doesn't make sense for PA to distribute
proprietary software, because (at least) on democratic governments the
government has many duties towards the citizens that can't be fullfilled
with proprietary software: transparency, the software being available to
all citizens without benefiting one single company among many, etc...

So by all means use GNU GPL'ed libraries, but explain to your
contractors in positive wording that:
        a) this will allow the PA to fullfill it's democratic
           obligations towards the citizens
        b) using those GNU GPL'ed libraries you will finish the program
        c) using those GNU GPL'ed libraries means they will not be
           locked-on to you or any single company
        d) if you don't use those GNU GPL'ed libraries you will have to
           use proprietary libraries that
        d1) are likely more expensive
        d2) may not allow redistribution at all being thus of less value
        d3) there are too many reasons to waste time here listing them
        e) if you don't use external libraries you will have to develop
           your own, which will take a lot more time and greatly
           increase cost

Oh, and don't pay attention to Alexander, remember this is a GNU
list/newsgroup so isn't it weird that someone hangs around here trying
to destroy the very purpose of this list or of Free Software?

He's a troll. Don't feed him, let him dry out in the sun.


+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?

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