Alex Tweedly wrote:

> On 27/03/2021 02:43, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:
>> This makes the Community Edition a natural fit for a generic player,
>> since the proliferation the license explicitly encourages would be
>> very much with the grain of its goals.
>> But then we have to ask: how many of those who might enjoy a generic
>> player embrace the GPL with the stacks they'd like to distribute it
>> with?
> hmmm - I don't get that bit.
> The generic player would be built with Community Edition - and hence
> must be GPL-compliant.
> However, the stacks it "plays" are merely documents. GPL is (afaiu)
> clear that documents viewed (or indeed created) by GPL apps are not
> covered by the GPL - i.e. it does not proliferate into the stacks.
> The stacks are not in any way derivative of the player.
> So I could build a stack with my Indy license, and distribute that
> under any restrictive licensing terms I choose, but use the CE/GPL
> compliant player app to run them.
> Of course, the source of the stacks would be visible, but there
> wouldn't seem to be any requirement on which licensing terms I apply
> to that stack.
> Or, I may be misunderstanding GPL again - I have done on many
> occasions since I first hired a developer to work on gcc back in the
> mid-80s :-)

The GPL is intentionally vague on what constitutes "derivative work" with regard to license inheritance, acknowledging the vast and ever-growing number of ways code can comingle at runtime.

LC's interpretation is similar to Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, and others which regard code running inside their process. Those CMS' regard all templates, plugins, widgets, themes, etc. as "derivative works" inheriting all rights and responsibilities of the CMS framework's GPL.

When in doubt about how any license applies to anything, it's always best to check with the owner of the property. One of Mark Waddingham's more complete set of comments on GPL and LC Community is here:

The most relevant part may be this:

  If you don't wish to pay for a commercial license of some sort,
  then your option is to enter the GPL ecosystem of LiveCode
  Community and abide by its rules. If you do decide to pay for a
  commercial license then you can walk in both. I, personally,
  think that is entirely fair and reasonable.

So in a sense we're both right, at least as far as meeting the company's expectations: As long as you maintain a current license to a proprietary edition, you can "walk in both"; if your license expires, distribution is GPL.

This still leaves two questions:

1. Can a proprietary licensee choose ANY license for stacks distributed with the GPL engine, or must it be at least GPL-compatible (such as MIT)?

2. What if I write something in a licensed proprietary edition this morning, distribute it for use with a Community engine this afternoon, and then let my proprietary LC license lapse tomorrow? Does the license of what I've already sent out into the field somehow transform into GPL? How could any user know?

The simplest way to avoid any questions about attempting to mix license types is to simply not mix them.

GPL is pretty clear, and only becomes complex with efforts to circumvent its terms through mixing with other licenses.

Here I follow one simple rule:

I embrace the GPL where sharing under its terms is my goal; I avoid it where my goals are otherwise, including any potentially-gray area not already clarifed by the copyright owner.

> I won't even start on that until I've finished fulminating over your
> misspelling of whisky - but a response (or two) will come.

My family is from Ireland and I live in the States. I raise my whiskey to toast your whisky, in the kinship of two related but regionally-distinct liquors, each spelled correctly.

 Richard Gaskin
 Fourth World Systems
 Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web

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