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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] DVD-PL license feedback


From: Thomas Harding
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] DVD-PL license feedback
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:43:35 +0200

Le Tue, 17 Apr 2012 09:48:11 -0400,
Patrick <address@hidden> a écrit :
[I'm French, so my English...]

> However GPL just does not make business sense for my particular 
> situation. The software would be low volume, high dollar, competitors 
> will just fork the code and roll it into proprietary software. Much

GPL allows forking only as... GPL. What allows forking proprietary is
e.G. BSD license.

> of the industry is now overseas, competitors are well out of my reach
> for legal action, effectively nullifying the topic of licenses once
> it's in their hands.

You can donate donate your code to FSF and let FSF sue :)

On sueing issues: there are always ways to be defeat, even in your
country! It depends on Microsoft lawyers capability (Ooops, we
accidentaly loosed the sources of 3.11 =:>)

> The benefits that let's say a Red Hat like operation will not apply
> to me. I will receive no code in return and there isn't the same sort
> of mass market as there would be with other industries, as server
> software for instance.

While you are the developer, you have a good knowlege of your code, what
others don't. So you can ask for money on improvements and
maintainance (as warranty/maintainance contract you would offer
separately). 

Warranty and maintainance are explicitely outside the scope of GPL.

> I was planning on building a custom interface board for the software
> and controlling the distribution of it through hardware and licensing
> the software under GPL.

You have no obligation with GPL to distribute your software at zero
cost. What you must do is to offer the "readables" sources together with
the software in the same way software is distributed with no more
charge then shipping/copying cost.

You can charge your software USD 200000, then give sources together or
on demand, (eg for USD 5 (CD + burning time cost) + shipping).

Obviously, your customers will have freedom to sell copies -- with the
sources in same way.

> The thing is the board I would fabricate would not do anything that 
> other boards available off the shelf would not do already and there
> is a large investment of time and money to do this.
> I now feel that it is better to use off the shelf hardware and the
> just the right license for the job.

You want to build "standard" proprietary hardware then your soft will
only work on that one? You most likely will experience for forks!
 
> I wanted to create a license that was identical to the GPL but
> required that the software only be redistributed in DVD format.

Anyone can burn DVD :)
 
> This would allow users to resell, modify and do everything they can
> with the GPL. I don't see how it would harm the end users. It would
> however slow the distribution and keep the software moving between
> end users more so then between competitors. It would allow me to get
> new revisions out before my competitors fork it into proprietary
> code. I would loose these benefits if it was posted as a link on the
> net.

While your software addresses a low amount of high end customers, you
can expect each one knows the other...

A better approach would be accepting only "contractly donated"
contributions and centralise the developpement as maintainance
software contract.

Either you sell the copy once or more, you will gain on maintainance
contracts as you are the original developper with the best knowlege of
/your/ code. 

You can also dual licence your program (proprietary + GPL), in such
case you'll need help from a good international intelectual property
lawyer for the proprietary licence. High prices expected :) 

(note you'll always need for a lawyer for maintainance contract,
while the better to do is to contract|sell in your country with
"localized sueing place" -- e.g. in your town -- and "Your language
contract is the only effective, traductions are for customer
comprehension" clauses).

On DIY licence: GPL text is copyrighted, ask directly to FSF :)

HTH,
TH.



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