[MonoDevelop] FSF

Bernhard Spuida bernhard@icsharpcode.net
Sat, 17 Jul 2004 09:38:03 +0200

Hi all,

as stated in a previous mail, we (the Sharpdevelop team) decided to 
ask the FSF for their view of licensing matters regarding Monodevelop 
and Sharpdevelop. Here ist their answer which we accept as 

On 15 Jul 2004 at 18:23, novalis@fsf.org via RT wrote:

> On Thu, 2004-07-15 at 09:26, Bernhard Spuida via RT wrote:
> > The issues we now see are:
> > 
> > *	The assumption that without explicitly choosing a license, code 

> > derived from GPL'd code is 'license free' seems incorrect.
> Code derived from GPL code must be licensed under the GPL.  
> permissions may be added at the time of distribution or at any 
> time.  It's fine for them to license code that they add under some
> GPL-compatible but more permissive license.
> > *	A change in licensing of GPL'd software is not possible without 
> > permission of the copyright holders of all code involved from our 

> > understanding.
> That's right with respect to the work as a whole.  
> Basically, it seems like the MonoDevelop people can do what they 
> to do.  That is, they can license their new code under the X11 
> (note: make sure they pick a version of said license which is 
> GPL-compatible -- the most recent XFree86 license isn't).  This 
> change a whole lot wrt the work as a whole (including plug-ins) 
> they replace all of the GPL code.  So long as there is some code in
> there which is GPL, they can't start making proprierary plug-ins. 
> In other words, there are two ways to get the permission of all
> copyright holders:  1. Ask all copyright holders.  2. Reduce the 
> of copyright holders to those you already have permission from.
> Note that the structure of the code as a whole is copyrighted, so 
> replacement should probably not proceed by going class-by-class and
> implementing each method of each class -- instead, they ought to 
> down and start rewriting.
> Their choice is a shame for software freedom, since what they want 
to do
> doesn't protect software freedom as much as the GPL.  But the good 
> is that you'll be able to freely merge in code from MonoDevelop 
> SharpDevelop.  This includes proprietary versions of SharpDevelop.  
> should mention this on the mailing list, because if they think that
> they'll stop you from making proprietary versions by converting to 
> X11 license, they are mistaken indeed.  
> -- 
> -Dave Turner
> GPL Compliance Engineer
> Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF


             Bernhard Spuida
             #develop senior word wrangler

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