[GRASS5] New info on openDWG

Glynn Clements glynn.clements at virgin.net
Fri Aug 27 18:57:54 EDT 2004

Moritz Lennert wrote:

> > He assured me that
> > the
> > alliance's intent was only to restrict or control commercial use of their
> > libraries, not use in educational or free software. I described GRASS and
> > he
> > felt that--based on my description--this fit their intent to permit
> > openDWG
> > to be used in non-commercial applications developed by Associate Members.
> [...]
> > Unless there is some catch to the GRASS GPL license that I am missing
> > (quite
> > possible, I suppose, given my lack of legal expertise), I think we can
> > distribute openDWG libraries with GRASS as long as we don't sell GRASS
> > commercially--something prohibited by the GPL license.
> The GPL in no way prohibits commercial distribution of software (look at
> all the GNU/Linux Distributions that sell GPL'd software). Free in the
> sense of free software (and in the sense of the GPL), does not mean
> non-commercial, it means the freedom to access, modify and redistribute
> modified version of the source code. But you have every right to sell
> GPL'd software, including.
> So some people might want to sell GRASS, but if there is a v.in.dwg this
> would not be legal with an associative membership of the Open Design
> Alliance. Their system is incompatible with the GPL since it takes away
> the freedom to do as they wish with the software. This is why including it
> in the distribution would limit GRASS in a way deemed inacceptable for
> many developers.

More importantly, anyone who distributed a v.in.dwg executable would
be violating the copyright on either:

a) the OpenDWG code, or
b) any GPL'd code which v.in.dwg used (e.g. libgis).

depending upon the terms under which it was distributed. If it was
distributed under the GPL, a) would apply; if it was distributed in
accordance with the OpenDWG terms, b) would apply.

The GPL doesn't allow you to impose additional restrictions, e.g. 
"only for non-commercial use", while the OpenDWG terms appear to
require such restrictions. Consequently, it doesn't appear possible to
produce something which would satisfy both licences.

Glynn Clements <glynn.clements at virgin.net>

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