[Bf-committers] extension clause

David Jeske davidj at gmail.com
Sun Nov 21 23:01:24 CET 2010

On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 1:13 PM, Dan Eicher <dan at trollwerks.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM, David Jeske <davidj at gmail.com> wrote:
> > ...I'm beginning to feel like a minority in wanting Blender to one day
> > become a real disruptive open-source alternative to these commercial
> tools.
> >
> > And why does Blender need to change it's license to do this?
> You seem to equate 'success' with blender having a secondary
> 'proprietary plugin' market and a bit of FUD over the GPL thrown in for
> good
> measure.

I equate "success" with Blender having users, and a stable product.

My comments on the GPL are not FUD, they are reporting the reality of the
decisions companies make today. FUD would be trying to convince them to stay
away from GPL software. Arguing that it's theoretically possible for them to
be safe linking their closed code to the GPL is sort of an irrelevant point
in this discussion if most of them choose not to do it -- regardless of the

I believe it's important to many users (especially, but not limited to
corporate users) to have a secondary 'proprietary plugin market', because
they get benefit from being able to buy those plugins and use them to get
work done, instead of waiting for a community to author them, or trying to
sink lots of their own resources into developing them. The open source
community would eventually do what it always tries to do, and copy the
commercial plugins, which is totally fine. The commercial companies have to
keep innovating to stay ahead of 'free and open source', and open-source
gets better all the time. This virtuous cycle doesn't happen if they can't
even start.

Oh, and friend who says 'Blender wouldn't be good enough today even if the
> license was fixed'.

We all know this to be true. Is there someone who thinks differently? I want
to see a world where Blender is good enough to replace Maya.

> I suppose it would be different if these studios could make and distribute
> their own changes (to make Blender 'good enough') without having to give
> these changes back to the community?

That's not what I'm suggesting at all. What you are describing is more like
the BSD/Python/artistic licenses, which are a free-for-all. I'm advocating
the LGPL.

The LGPL requires any changes you make **TO THE CODEBASE** to be
distributed. It simply allows you to link your own binaries into the same
address space, depend on material details, and distribute those binaries to
other parties without requiring you to distribute source for YOUR code. In
other words, I could make a DLL/so by linking against blender.h and
distribute my binary, to run in the same address space, without releasing
source for my binary. Moreso, as a company I could be comfortable linking
this code with my closed code, because LGPL code can be linked into
commercial products without releasing the entire commercial product. For
example, if I made an interesting game using the Blender Game Engine, I
could sell my game as a binary with my only obligation to release the source
to all components of the Blender Game Engine I used, as well as any
improvements or changes I made to that code. My game-code could remain
closed and sold as a for-profit binary.

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