Questions:

*IF* you want to share your opinion on the GPL issue, this is the place for you.
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JRowe
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Questions:

Post by JRowe » Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:11 pm

So to clarify, just for my own benefit, could someone explain to me the following?

If I write a component, say a forum, specifically for integration with Joomla, e.g. it only works under the Joomla framework, then under the GPL I can still sell it... however, if someone requests the source code, then I have to provide it. Since the source code is PHP, or a script based on the Joomla API, the source code is the component. Ergo, only an idiot would buy my component when he could get it for free, or cheap via snail mail and a CD-Rom. If I keep the copyright, then after the first sale, it falls under the "distributed code" category, and the GPL kicks me in the balls.

So I develop my killer forum app, with the intention of making good money off of my own hard work, and my first client shells out the $15 to buy it. I'm hoping for a few hundred sales, because its just that good. :P I hold the copyright, sure, so nobody can modify it or resell it without my permission... but that's useless if my app was done right in the first place.

Then he uploads it to The Pirate Bay, and the world has free access to my app, free access to Joomla, and I can't do anything about it, no legal protection whatsoever, because the GPL includes the right to distribute, and I would be forced to assume the GPL model in order to legally develop under the Joomla framework. So now, you can legally get my app for free and I can't do jack squat about it, and I've essentially donated my time, effort, and vision to the world, even though it was never my intent to do so, because I wanted the privilege of using Joomla.

Is this correct?

 
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Re: Questions:

Post by JRowe » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:49 pm

Not able to reply to AmyStephen's question in the post above mine, so here it is:
...you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify the software.
Ergo, by selling, or distributing the software, the buyer attains the same rights and legal status as the developer in regards to distribution, modification, and copying.

I refuse to depend on the ethics of others in regards to recompense for work I've done. Without accountability, any work done for Joomla is worthless in the literal sense, except under extremely specific circumstances.

This disturbs me greatly, and I hope that the issues can be resolved.

And since index.php, modified for templates, constitutes a derivative work, say goodbye to professional template designs, unless they like giving designs away for free...

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

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Re: Questions:

Post by JRowe » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:59 pm

* Source code does not have to be provided with the software.
No. The source can be encrypted/compiled, but you have to inform the recipient that they have equivalent rights, and inform them as to how to obtain the source code.
* Source code does have to be provided, upon request.
Yes. You must provide reasonable access to the source code of the program.
* Charging for distribution of source code is allowed.
Only for a warantee (guaranteeing the safety/veracity of recieved code, etc) and the actual costs of distribution.
* There are no guidelines or restrictions for what is charged for distribution.
Distribution of the program is unregulated. You could sell the program once to Customer A for $1000. At that point, he is free to give it away to everyone he knows at no cost, with no legal repercussions whatsoever, because the GPL transfers the same rights to him as the developer had prior to distribution. The recipients in turn have those same rights, ad infinitum.

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Re: Questions:

Post by Toni Marie » Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:09 pm

Distribution of the program is unregulated. You could sell the program once to Customer A for $1000. At that point, he is free to give it away to everyone he knows at no cost, with no legal repercussions whatsoever, because the GPL transfers the same rights to him as the developer had prior to distribution. The recipients in turn have those same rights, ad infinitum.
For the GPL parts of your package.  But I am of the belief that those who are intelligent enough to program a quality component are also empowered with enough creativity to separate out non-derivative code, license accordingly, and suffer no ill effects of the GPL portion at all.

And let us refer to Johan's recent post in which he states that the core team tried valiantly to reduce links between extensions and Joomla core to LGPL, but just couldn't quite get enough done legally.  He has said that he feels they will reach that level in coming releases... therefore this situation is temporary at best.  The core team also has volunteered to assist any developer who asks them in getting their code into compliance... if that meant just releasing the source code, they wouldn't have to offer.  I would think that the brilliant minds of the core team PLUS the third party dev in question could reach an adequate compromise of independent and GPL code.

Also, the Joomla Extensions Directory team has stated that they will only support and promote the original developer of a package and not any direct clones, unless significant changes or improvements are made. 

Finally, support from the original (and most knowledgeable) developer and not some secondary distribution point, along with frequent updates, patches, etc as necessary, are incredibly valuable commodities that cannot be gotten reliably from pirate sites.


Edit: Blue portion changed to more accurately reflect the intent of Johann's post.  http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic ... 74511  (read here for what he actually said)
Last edited by Toni Marie on Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Questions:

Post by JRowe » Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:44 pm

According to my understanding of the GPL, this means I can take copies of Joomla, burn them to a disc, box and sell them at my local software store under a new name, so long as I include the requisite accreditation of the original Joomla license and notify the recipients of their new rights and responsibilities under the GPL, and it would be perfectly legal?

Or as far as that goes, *any* other GPLed software in the world?

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Re: Questions:

Post by Toni Marie » Sat Jun 23, 2007 6:16 pm

Absolutely.  And some people would buy it.  But if you sell it, you also have to guarantee that it works.  And you won't be around long if you don't have a team of developers to support it.  And to support it you need to know the ins and outs of the code.  And if you understand the ins and outs of the code, you're probably pretty smart.  And take pride in your work.  And would want to show how smart you are by creating unique work, not copying other people's stuff.

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Re: Questions:

Post by mcsmom » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:13 am

JRowe wrote: I refuse to depend on the ethics of others in regards to recompense for work I've done. Without accountability, any work done for Joomla is worthless in the literal sense, except under extremely specific circumstances.

And since index.php, modified for templates, constitutes a derivative work, say goodbye to professional template designs, unless they like giving designs away for free...

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
THe meat of professional template design is in the CSS, graphics and javascript. All this clarificcation does is encourage people to professionalize their work and, nicely, this has other benefits like encouraging more accessible design and fewer tables generally.
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Re: Questions:

Post by louis.landry » Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:00 am

tydust wrote: And let us refer to Johan's recent post in which he states that the core team tried valiantly to reduce links between extensions and Joomla core to LGPL, but just couldn't quite get enough done legally.  He has said that he feels they will reach that level in coming releases... therefore this situation is temporary at best.
Just as a point of clarity ... It might be misleading to state that if the framework is LGPL then all issues are resolved.  It is still all one application that is running which is GPL.  As a standalone application running on the framework (if/when the framework is LGPL)  there would be no issue at all, but there is much more to something be a derived work then simply using an API or not and the Joomla! CMS is still GPL.
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Re: Questions:

Post by Toni Marie » Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:08 am

Ah! True.  I'm sorry I've spent so much time commenting on the hysteria, I always assume we're talking about an application whose only connection to Joomla is the API.

My apologies to anyone I might have confused with that...

 

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