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

Knapp magick.crow at gmail.com
Thu Nov 25 13:08:36 CET 2010

> @Knapp
> There are a billion closed source applications in this world, and yet
> you are not starving.
> Neither will you be starving if there is one more closed source
> application in the world.

I should know by now not to joke in internationally read emails. :-)

Before I, "grew up", and moved from windows to Linux my computer was
completely full of stolen software including the OS. As a young high
school student with a poor family, it was the only way to have all the
software that I wanted to make art and to program. I felt a little bad
about that but not very.  I have even read reports about how Gates
like this because it locks users into the MS system because they
invest so much time in the system.

I have met VERY few MS users that have no stolen software on their
computers. For the last 28 years I have had a completely legal
computer and have done my best to give back to all the projects that
let this happen. If all the users do as I do (and a lot do) we will
have the very best computer systems in the world. Letting people take
that community effort and use it for their own personal benefit
without giving back to that same community is a bit wrong IMOHO.

> An artist uses Blender to create some art work, and they decide to sell it.
> Nobody complains. It took the artist years of training and weeks of effort to
> make their product. Nobody says "You used Blender to make your product,
> Blender is free, you must make your product free or we will sue you."

True, but hopefully that same artist gives back to the community by
helping others, writing code, or just by saying Blender is cool and I
made this art with blender thus bring in more users and developers or
perhaps giving back money to the project.

The problem with firms is that they have a mandate to make profit and
nothing strong making them give back to the people they take that
profit from. I don't want to argue this and I know there is a lot of
room to do so but that is the fundamental issue here. Should they be
allowed to do so? Or should we just trust them to do right by blender.

> A programmer comes along, the programmer does not modify Blender but instead
> writes a separate program which uses Blender to do something special, something
> which Blender can not do right now. It took the programmer years of
> training and
> weeks of effort to make their product. Just as much skill and effort
> as the artist.

Yes, true.

> But now everyone screams at them "You used Blender to make your product,
> Blender is free, you must make your product free or we will sue you."
> I can understand people would be upset if the programmer had modified Blender
> but he did NOT modify Blender at all, he simply used Blender in a similar way
> that an artist would use Blender to create artwork.

Except that art work is not something that you can easily take and add
to to make a better work, programming is. Programs take a HUGE amount
of work to make, they take a huge number of people to make. We with
GPL are saying that we want to make this product in a community
setting where everyone contributes to the project and no one can come
along and take that work for themselves without helping to make it
better. In many ways GPL is saying that if you want to play with our
cool toys then help us to make it.

Art projects can also take this approach if they would like to.

> LGPL would allow this programmer to earn a living just like an artist, but
> GPL would put this programmer in jail for not making their product free.

It is simple, play by our rules or else. This group of blender people
picked rules to play by. I think it is great to debate that decision
and to look for better ways but it is not great to open up GPL and let
others play with our toys without helping to make them.

> If you are still confused please re-read the beginning of this email.

I was never confused about this and find that statement a bit
insulting but I will drop it.

Douglas E Knapp

Creative Commons Film Group, Helping people make open source movies
with open source software!

Massage in Gelsenkirchen-Buer:
Please link to me and trade links with me!

Open Source Sci-Fi mmoRPG Game project.

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