[CLUG-chat] Which license should we use

Alan McKinnon alan at linuxholdings.co.za
Tue Feb 13 15:45:07 SAST 2007

On Tuesday 13 February 2007, Roland Giesler wrote:
> I have a client who wishes to release software basically free/libre,
> but the system requires MS SQL Server at this stage.  This may change
> in future (hopefully), but for now, under what license can this be
> released?  I've looked at GPL and LGPL, but both don't seem to be
> quite fitting.  They are selling the software, but do not want to go
> into the software maintenance business, so user are allowed to make
> their own modification/improvement as they wish and share it with
> other user again.

I don't see why GPL won't work just fine.

The user gets the source and the freedom to modify it if they want. The 
client is under no obligation to maintain it (but must provide the 
sources for free for 3 years).

The fact that the software requires MSSQL server is irrelevant and is 
not part of the GPL license. You will have to read the MS license to 
see what it's terms are, but I would be surprised if it did (or even 
could) prohibit GPL software from using it's interface.

The viral nature of GPL kicks in only with regard to software that links 
to the GPL code, and only when redistributed. It does not kick in with 
reagrd to software that the GPL code links to.

So, if the client is happy with the idea that anyone may extend their 
project as long as the modifications are themselves GPL, then GPL will 

Or does the client perhaps want to sell the software and make sure they 
are the only ones who can sell it, while allowing the user to modify it 
if needed?


Optimists say the glass is half full,
Pessimists say the glass is half empty,
Developers say wtf is the glass twice as big as it needs to be?

Alan McKinnon
alan at linuxholdings dot co dot za
+27 82, double three seven, one nine three five

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