Difference between revisions of "Licence"

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I know that the discussion on the ''"right"'' licence for open source occupied a significant portion of internet bandwidth and so is here the reason why, in my opinion, FreeCAD should have this one.
 
I know that the discussion on the ''"right"'' licence for open source occupied a significant portion of internet bandwidth and so is here the reason why, in my opinion, FreeCAD should have this one.
  
I chose the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGPL LGPL] and the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL GPL] for the project and I know the pro and cons about the LGPL and will give you some reasons for that decision.
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I chose the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGPL LGPL] for the project and I know the pro and cons about the LGPL and will give you some reasons for that decision.
  
 
FreeCAD is a mixture of a library and an application, so the GPL would be a little bit strong for that. It would prevent writing commercial modules for FreeCAD because it would prevent linking with the FreeCAD base libs. You may ask why commercial modules at all? Therefore Linux is good example. Would Linux be so successful when the GNU C Library would be GPL and therefore prevent linking against non-GPL applications? And although I love the freedom of Linux, I also want to be able to use the very good NVIDIA 3D graphic driver. I understand and accept the reason NVIDIA does not wish to give away driver code. We all work for companies and need payment or at least food. So for me, a coexistence of open source and closed source software is not a bad thing, when it obeys the rules of the LGPL. I would like to see someone writing a Catia import/export processor for FreeCAD and distribute it for free or for some money. I don't like to force him to give away more than he wants to. That wouldn't be good neither for him nor for FreeCAD.
 
FreeCAD is a mixture of a library and an application, so the GPL would be a little bit strong for that. It would prevent writing commercial modules for FreeCAD because it would prevent linking with the FreeCAD base libs. You may ask why commercial modules at all? Therefore Linux is good example. Would Linux be so successful when the GNU C Library would be GPL and therefore prevent linking against non-GPL applications? And although I love the freedom of Linux, I also want to be able to use the very good NVIDIA 3D graphic driver. I understand and accept the reason NVIDIA does not wish to give away driver code. We all work for companies and need payment or at least food. So for me, a coexistence of open source and closed source software is not a bad thing, when it obeys the rules of the LGPL. I would like to see someone writing a Catia import/export processor for FreeCAD and distribute it for free or for some money. I don't like to force him to give away more than he wants to. That wouldn't be good neither for him nor for FreeCAD.
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;[[wikipedia:LGPL|Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL2+)]]: For the core libs as stated in the .h and .cpp files in src/App src/Gui src/Base and most [[Modules|modules]] in src/Mod and for the executable as stated in the .h and .cpp files in src/main. The icons and other graphic parts are also LGPL.
 
;[[wikipedia:LGPL|Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL2+)]]: For the core libs as stated in the .h and .cpp files in src/App src/Gui src/Base and most [[Modules|modules]] in src/Mod and for the executable as stated in the .h and .cpp files in src/main. The icons and other graphic parts are also LGPL.
;[[wikipedia:GPL|General Public Licence (GPL2+)]]: For the Python scripts to build the binaries as stated in the .py files in src/Tools
 
 
;[[wikipedia:Open Publication License|Open Publication Licence]]: For the documentation on http://free-cad.sourceforge.net/ as not marked differently by the author  
 
;[[wikipedia:Open Publication License|Open Publication Licence]]: For the documentation on http://free-cad.sourceforge.net/ as not marked differently by the author  
  
We try to use only LGPL type licences for the core system linked libraries (see [[Third Party Libraries]]) with one exception:
 
* the Coin3D licence ([http://www.coin3d.org/licensing/ www.coin3d.org]).
 
  
 
See FreeCAD's [http://free-cad.git.sourceforge.net/git/gitweb.cgi?p=free-cad/free-cad;a=blob;f=package/debian/copyright;h=a97cf019d020edba596f2d0f614c9b09ce546b0f;hb=HEAD debian copyright file] for more details about the licenses used in FreeCAD
 
See FreeCAD's [http://free-cad.git.sourceforge.net/git/gitweb.cgi?p=free-cad/free-cad;a=blob;f=package/debian/copyright;h=a97cf019d020edba596f2d0f614c9b09ce546b0f;hb=HEAD debian copyright file] for more details about the licenses used in FreeCAD
  
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=== License side effects ===
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Up to Version 0.13 FreeCAD is delivered as GPL2+, although the source itself is under LGPL2+. Thats because of linkage of Coin3D (GPL2) and PyQt(GPL). Starting with 0.14 we will be completely GPL free. PyQt will be replaced by PySide, and Coin3D was relicensed under BSD. One problem we still have to face, license-wise, the [http://www.opencascade.org/getocc/license/ OCTPL (Open CASCADE Technology Public License)].   
 
=== Impact of the licences ===
 
=== Impact of the licences ===
  

Revision as of 15:07, 16 January 2013

Statement of the maintainer

I know that the discussion on the "right" licence for open source occupied a significant portion of internet bandwidth and so is here the reason why, in my opinion, FreeCAD should have this one.

I chose the LGPL for the project and I know the pro and cons about the LGPL and will give you some reasons for that decision.

FreeCAD is a mixture of a library and an application, so the GPL would be a little bit strong for that. It would prevent writing commercial modules for FreeCAD because it would prevent linking with the FreeCAD base libs. You may ask why commercial modules at all? Therefore Linux is good example. Would Linux be so successful when the GNU C Library would be GPL and therefore prevent linking against non-GPL applications? And although I love the freedom of Linux, I also want to be able to use the very good NVIDIA 3D graphic driver. I understand and accept the reason NVIDIA does not wish to give away driver code. We all work for companies and need payment or at least food. So for me, a coexistence of open source and closed source software is not a bad thing, when it obeys the rules of the LGPL. I would like to see someone writing a Catia import/export processor for FreeCAD and distribute it for free or for some money. I don't like to force him to give away more than he wants to. That wouldn't be good neither for him nor for FreeCAD.

Nevertheless this decision is made only for the core system of FreeCAD. Every writer of an application module may make his own decision.

Used Licences

Here the three licences under which FreeCAD is published:

Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL2+)
For the core libs as stated in the .h and .cpp files in src/App src/Gui src/Base and most modules in src/Mod and for the executable as stated in the .h and .cpp files in src/main. The icons and other graphic parts are also LGPL.
Open Publication Licence
For the documentation on http://free-cad.sourceforge.net/ as not marked differently by the author


See FreeCAD's debian copyright file for more details about the licenses used in FreeCAD


License side effects

Up to Version 0.13 FreeCAD is delivered as GPL2+, although the source itself is under LGPL2+. Thats because of linkage of Coin3D (GPL2) and PyQt(GPL). Starting with 0.14 we will be completely GPL free. PyQt will be replaced by PySide, and Coin3D was relicensed under BSD. One problem we still have to face, license-wise, the OCTPL (Open CASCADE Technology Public License).

Impact of the licences

Private users

Private users can use FreeCAD free of charge and can do basically whatever they want to do with it....

Professional users

Can use FreeCAD freely, for any kind of private or professional work. They can customize the application as they wish. They can write open or closed source extensions to FreeCAD. They are always master of their data, they are not forced to update FreeCAD, change their usage of FreeCAD. Using FreeCAD doesn't bind them to any kind of contract or obligation.

Open Source developers

Can use FreeCAD as the groundwork for own extension modules for special purposes. They can choose either the GPL or the LGPL to allow the use of their work in proprietary software or not.

Professional developers

Professional developers can use FreeCAD as the groundwork for their own extension modules for special purposes and are not forced to make their modules open source. They can use all modules which use the LGPL. They are allowed to distribute FreeCAD along with their proprietary software. They will get the support of the author(s) as long as it is not a one way street. If you want to sell your module you need a Coin3D licence, otherwise you are forced by this library to make it open source.

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