[Bf-committers] extension clause

David Jeske davidj at gmail.com
Sat Nov 13 08:35:31 CET 2010

I understand I'm following up on a discussion from last month. I think it's
an important one. There were many good points raised about the license
requirements for extensions. I hope these additional thoughts are a well

I think it will benefit the Blender community if commercial companies can
use Blender as a replacement for commercial tools. In order to do this, it's
often necessary for them to link propritary code in as extension modules,
and make use of them deeply in their rendering and/or asset management
process. This discussion brought up the point that it's "probably fine" to
write propritary extension modules, especially if it's done in the privacy
of a company. However, please understand the conservative environment of
corporations. All corporate council I'm aware of will advise against
linking proprietary code to GPL code as a potential GPL violation. This will
make it an un-viable corporate risk. Or put differently, the legal safety of
commercial alternatives is simply worth too much. Which means they will use
commercial tools instead of blender. Which is a lost opportunity for the
adoption of excellent users that would help advance blender.  "truly free"
open source tools like Python are more accepted in corporate environments
for this specific reason.

I think it will benefit Blender's adoption substantially if the Blender code
licensing is structured in a way to make it very safe and indisputable that
it's okay to build closed-source extensions with proprietary code.   I
understand it may be important to draw this line carefully. In my opinion it
will be worth the effort.

I don't know the blender community or blender foundation position on
for-sale binary extension modules for Blender, and I understand this may be
a tricky issue. However, regardless of the stance on this, I think it will
be of great benefit if companies feel safe in linking their own code with
blender inside their own environment. In my experience, this is not
generally accepted as a valid thing to do with GPL code and the current
interpretations of the GPL.

I understand this also may not be the biggest priority at the moment, but I
think it's an important issue that deserves some serious consideration.

Thanks again to all of you for helping to make Blender such a great

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