[Bf-committers] A practical proposal for the task of re-licensing Blender
ton at blender.org
Wed Nov 24 19:17:06 CET 2010
Based on feedback from key developers, the likelyhood there's a
relicense to LGPL happing is near zero. Let's focus on ways to get end-
user level useful extensions possible.
Ton Roosendaal Blender Foundation ton at blender.org www.blender.org
Blender Institute Entrepotdok 57A 1018AD Amsterdam The Netherlands
On 24 Nov, 2010, at 1:26, Alex Combas wrote:
> Hello developers,
> A common statement I've heard people make when talking about the
> possibility of a license change is: "Its a good idea, but in practical
> terms it is almost impossible".
> I do not think that is true. Here is my proposal for how it could be
> 1. Wait until Blender gets out of beta. A good first step.
> 2. Clarify the objective to re-license the code.
> There are several different proposals for re-licensing Blender. Before
> proceeding it would be necessary to pick one of them and make a
> clearly stated goal.
> For example: "Our goal is to re-license the entire Blender code base
> from GPL to LGPL for the purpose of keeping the code free and
> protected, while at the same time allowing developers to write
> extensions which link to Blender to use whatever license they wish for
> their own code."
> 3. After having clearly defined "the goal" it would be necessary to
> organize a census among the Blender developer community to determine
> if the majority support this idea.
> 4. If we reach a state where the majority (at least 60-70%) of the
> Blender developer community support this idea, then the idea should
> move forward. But wait! Would it be possible to move forward if there
> was less than 100% support? Yes.
> Next the Blender Foundation would need to make an announcement:
> "This is a notice to all past and present Blender developers:
> We are planning to change the license under which Blender is
> distributed from GPL to LGPL, this is for the purpose of keeping
> Blender free and protected, while at the same time allowing other
> developers to write extensions which link to Blender to use whatever
> license they wish for their own code.
> Important: If we have applied patches to the code from you, and you
> are opposed to this idea then please let us know and we will back out
> your changes."
> At this point people should wait for at least a month or two to give
> any developers who are opposed to the idea adequate time to go through
> the source and notify the Blender foundation of any sections which
> they claim they are the authors of and would like to have removed from
> Blender if the license is changed.
> Now depending upon how that goes will determine how the license change
> would proceed.
> Possibility #1: No developers contact the Blender Foundation and ask
> for their code to be removed. In this case, license Blender as LGPL
> and the job is done.
> Possibility #2: The Blender Foundation is notified by some developers
> that a few small trivial parts of Blender which they have written
> would need to be removed.
> In this case a separate branch could be created which does not contain
> their code, once the code has been reimplemented then it could be
> merged with trunk. Then license Blender as LGPL and the job is done.
> Possibility #3: The Blender Foundation is notified by some developers
> that one or more major sections of Blender which they have written
> will need to be removed.
> In this case it might be possible that their code could be completely
> removed from Blender and re-built as an extension.
> For example, lets just say that the compositor was made by a single
> developer and that this developer does not want his code to be
> relicensed as LGPL.
> Since we do not wish to lose the compositor, and it would be
> impractical to re-implement it, then the only option would be to
> rebuild the compositor as an extension. In this way the compositor
> extension would remain GPL in accordance with the authors wishes, and
> the rest of Blender could still be relicensed as LGPL.
> Once the code in contention has been reimplemented or modified to
> function as an extension then merge the branches, license Blender as
> LGPL, and the job is done.
> So that is my proposal. Sorry if it is a bit long winded.
> It is probably full of many holes which I am blissfully unaware of,
> but hopefully this can help roll the ball a little further.
> Best regards,
> Alex Combas
> irc: blenderwell
> Bf-committers mailing list
> Bf-committers at blender.org
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