[Bf-committers] A practical proposal for the task of re-licensing Blender

Benjamin Tolputt btolputt at internode.on.net
Thu Nov 25 08:30:28 CET 2010

On 25/11/2010 6:19 PM, Alex Combas wrote:
> I think a lot of people are agreeable to the idea of closed source
> plugins for Blender.

I think you'd be right ;)

> But there is really no way to do that with the GPL ...unless you try
> to break the GPL somehow by using shims or some other sort of loophole.

Whether one thinks of it as a "loophole" or simply an allowed method of
doing so would be a matter of opinion, I think. If the "loophole" is
still possible in GPL3, the FSF at least don't think of it as one :)

> But why continue to use the GPL if you are looking for ways to break it.
> Why not just switch to a license which allows closed extensions?

Well, unless you are starting a project from scratch AND removing all
the GPL libraries used, you're stuck with GPL. Personally, I think of it
as a fine license for the stated purpose of Blender (I was open to dual
licensing as well but it never got off the ground).

Given there are contributors that are heavily against changing the
license and the fact that any reimplementation may as well be a separate
project (can one call a ground up complete rewrite "Blender" or just
inspired by it?) - whether we like the GPL or not, it is the one we're
stuck with.

As much as I hate to be brash, I think you'll have to accept that
because enough people (with code contributions in Blender) have stated
they won't accept anything else.

> Personally I am against trying to break the GPL and I would not
> support such an effort.

As I said above. Being able to use proprietary libraries is not
considered by everyone "breaking" the GPL. If you don't want to support
the effort, that's fine and dandy but I doubt that is going to stop
anyone more than your opposition to Blender's use GPL prevented people
speaking out for it.

> That is why instead I made this proposal to switch, but it is safe to
> say that this proposal has been completely rejected.

Whether it is safe to say it was "rejected" or not doesn't matter. What
has been determined is that the effort required (given the opinion of
some major contributors) makes the proposal a practical impossibility.
Blender would need to be rewritten from the ground up and I don't think
anyone has the stomach for that.

I know if it was suggested seriously by Ton & company, I'd be forking
(or supporting a fork of) Blender because I couldn't wait as long as
would be required to see the new version. We need to consider the effort
available, the effort required, and the main contributors' desires in
the equation - even if it annoys the @#$% out of us (as other decisions

The time for license changing was *quite* some time ago, the horse has
bolted long ago on that change. Let's move forward and see what we can
do NOW :)


Benjamin Tolputt
Analyst Programmer

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