[Bf-committers] extension clause

Dan Eicher dan at trollwerks.org
Wed Nov 17 23:24:27 CET 2010

On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 1:16 PM, David Jeske <davidj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 5:11 AM, Ton Roosendaal <ton at blender.org> wrote:
> > In discussions at Siggraph with some people working in studios, they
> > mentioned to have solved it by creating a fully separated "open
> > domain" for software, vs their own "closed domain". The code in these
> > domains are never allowed to be mixed up. The open domain is not
> > allowed to use or link to anything from the closed domain, however the
> > closed domain can link to modules in the open domain (but without
> > copying any code).
> >
> This contradicts the information I see in the industry, and both the legal
> and my laymen's understanding of the GPL.  Is there some company that could
> publish a case study about how they feel it safe to build closed-source
> extensions to GPL code?
> Seems like y'all are talking about two different things (again).

They aren't making 'extensions' to GPL code but merely linking *to* the
GPL'd code from their 'closed domain'. They would also (presumably) take
into account this *linking* when distributing their code to 'contracting
shops and other third parties'.

Basically, if you want to distribute code (in any form) then it isn't such a
good idea to link to a GPL'd library because then you can't control what the
third party does with the code. Using the GPL for a library is designed to
be this way (not discussing 'should' here, that's just the fact of the
matter) which is probably why the big studios tend to use a more open
license when releasing their internal code.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the very fact that studios
are using FOSS code *now* means that there are systems in place to ensure
that non-open code doesn't get released into The Wild and any shop that
doesn't implement such safeguards are just asking for trouble. Plus this is
the pretty much what Ton wrote but I love to point out the obvious.

Of course this doesn't in any way address the proprietary extensions issue
but then again neither was Ton.


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