[Bf-committers] Licenses for Python scripts

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Sat Sep 7 12:07:07 CEST 2013

Hi all,

Just to notify - lengthy discussions we might better do when FSF comes with answers!

I asked a while ago the FSF to further advice on the license freedom/restrictions that might apply to Python scripts. Their initial response was that the wording in our FAQ is not correct though, but they needed more time to fully investigate it, also with Richard Stallman.

The FAQ text now has been updated by me just to be sure:

The issue is - simply said - to draw a line between what an interpreter language is, and when it's an API binding to 'other' code. In the first case, scripts are considered to be "just data" (free to license), in the other case it's programming code (GPL compliant).

In a previous discussion with a FSF representative, the advice was to define what the "Blender GPL Script Language" is - with link to the documentation. Simply using this syntax would then be considered to be 'data'. Only when you use Python to extend to "other facilities" the GPL would kick back in. My main concern back then was the use of Python scripts embedded in Blender files, like for drivers or constraints. 

In practice, this reasoning still is too fuzzy however: if people write scripts, link with own modules, then when do you 'provide bindings' or just 'use the Blender scripting language'...


Will update as soon I have more news,


Ton Roosendaal  -  ton at blender.org   -   www.blender.org
Chairman Blender Foundation - Producer Blender Institute
Entrepotdok 57A  -  1018AD Amsterdam  -  The Netherlands

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