[geeklog-devel] GPLv3

Lior geeklog.nwo at neverbox.com
Fri Apr 16 09:52:33 EDT 2010

I know 
is old but I thought some things about it should be clear in case it ever 

1) The Affero General Public License 3 is just GPLv3 + the requirement to 
keep a "download this site's (PHP/THTML/etc.) source" link, if such link 
existed originally. Since such doesn't exist originally in Geeklog, 
there's no point choosing AGPL over the standard GPL.
2) Christian Weiske also recommended CC licenses. Well, the CC organization 
itself strongly asks not to use their licenses for softwares.
3) Dirk said he'd pick something BSDish now. But that would only solve 1 
issue out of 2.

Assuming the two main issues are:
1) Keeping the "powered by Geeklog" link.
2) Allowing plugin authors not to release source code and/or to forbid 


1) No mainstream free license I've ever heard of orders to keep a copyright 
right in the binaries/online sites. Ok, except CC, which lets the author 
define where to put their credits, but like I said it isn't meant for 
softwares. Even BSD only orders to put copyrights in the source code 
and/or documentation.

2) CC can forbid re-distribtions, but CC shouldn't be used for softwares. 
BSD can forbid releasing source code. Legally, that's great. Technically, 
it's meaningless with PHP code which is just source code. In actuality, 
is there a site out there that mass re-distributes pay plugins? If no, 
then it's not a real problem. Private re-distributions would continue 
even with BSD as long as PHP is used.

However, GPLv3 does have something new no one talks about - section 7. 
Additional Terms. Item b) is relevant to 2) while item c) is relevant to 

1) Item b) allows "Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal 
notices or author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate 
Legal Notices displayed by works containing it;"
When I say no one talks about section 7, I mean even the official GNU site 
pretends like this section doesn't exist. It's only possible to find it 
in sites that just quote the license. Since no one 
talks about it, it's not clear whether the author can decide if "that 
material or in the Appropriate Legal Notices" equals the credit line in 
online sites. Any thoughts about it?

2) Item c) allows "requiring that modified versions of such material be 
marked in reasonable ways as different from the original version". This 
gives a huge benefit for paid plugins. Like it or not, GPLv2 does not 
support specifying "official" versions.  Niether does GPLv3. But GPLv3 
does let you specify "original" versions. Of course, this leads us back 
to 1). If the word "original" is hidden somehwere in LICENSE.txt, then it 
wouldn't really change anything. But if the online site's footer MUST 
state "this isn't the original plugin", it's a different story and will 
cause surfers to find the original plugin, as long as they understand 
"original" probably means "official".

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