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From: Ryan VanderBijl <rvbijl39@calvin.edu>
X-Real-Life-Name: Ryan VanderBijl
Subject: license question
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Hello,

I'm working with TinyVM, an implementation of the Java VM for the
RCX.  

I'm am looking into expanding the LCD capabilities to display text
characters, and I was hoping to copy some of the data and/or algorithm
for displaying text. 

I am not very familiar with the Mozilla License agreement, and am
wondering if I would legally be allowed to borrow some of the LCD 
code/information for the TinyVM project.   Most of what I would need
is from kernel/conio.c and include/conio.c.

TinyVM is released under the Mozilla Public License 1.0, as is
legOS.

I would, of course, give credit.

Thanks,

Ryan


--
Ryan VanderBijl                        http://www.calvin.edu/~rvbijl39

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From: Dave Baum <dbaum@spambgoneenteract.com>
X-Real-Life-Name: Dave Baum
Subject: Re: license question
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The short answer is yes.

The long answer...

In general, free software licenses are self-compatible, meaning that you 
can take portions of software released under that license and create a 
different product using that same license.  In fact, this is one of the 
basic requirements for a free software license (at least according to 
the Debian Free Software Guidelines - 
http://www.debian.org/social_contract.html).  Your intended use (using 
files from one MPL product to build another MPL product) falls into this 
category, and is definitely allowed by the MPL.  You don't even have to 
be careful about what you do...you don't really have to segregate the 
legOS originated sources from your own, you can modify however you wish, 
etc.  Probably the only thing to be careful about is maitaining 
authorship and contributor credit where due (e.g. keep Markus' name in 
the files, add your own name if you modify them).

The sticky issues come into play when you want to release the second 
work under a different license.  GPL is quite restrictive in this sense.  
You can't take a module from a GPLed program and use it to build a 
larger work which is released in a non-GPL manner.  

Public domain is at the other end of the spectrum - you can do 
absolutely anything you want.  The BSD license is also very permissive - 
license however you want, just be sure to give credit where due (1).

MPL sits somewhere in the middle.  You can't make MPL software non-MPL.  
If you take a file and make a mod to it, your modified file is also MPL.  
However, MPL does allow the concept of a "larger work", where MPL code 
makes up some subset of the larger work.  The MPL code still remains MPL 
(including whatever mods you made), but the larger work does not have to 
be MPL.  It could be proprietary (2).

Whether this is "good" or not is a value judgement.  When I released 
NQC, I felt uncomfortable with the GPL, and opted for MPL.  I assume 
Markus had similar feelings when he released legOS.

Dave Baum


(1) I'm massively paraphrasing GPL and BSD here.  The main point is that 
BSD and GPL are at somewhat opposite extremes in terms of compatibility 
with other software licenses (free and otherwise).

(2) Doing this is tricky...you need good separation between the MPL and 
non-MPL portions of the program, and you still have to keep the MPL part 
MPL.

In article <200008071729.e77HTpl04018@ursa.calvin.edu>, Ryan VanderBijl 
<rvbijl39@calvin.edu> wrote:

> Hello,
> 
> I'm working with TinyVM, an implementation of the Java VM for the
> RCX.  
> 
> I'm am looking into expanding the LCD capabilities to display text
> characters, and I was hoping to copy some of the data and/or algorithm
> for displaying text. 
> 
> I am not very familiar with the Mozilla License agreement, and am
> wondering if I would legally be allowed to borrow some of the LCD 
> code/information for the TinyVM project.   Most of what I would need
> is from kernel/conio.c and include/conio.c.
> 
> TinyVM is released under the Mozilla Public License 1.0, as is
> legOS.
> 
> I would, of course, give credit.
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Ryan
> 
> 
> --
> Ryan VanderBijl                        http://www.calvin.edu/~rvbijl39
>

-- 
reply to: dbaum at enteract dot com

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From: Luis Villa <liv@duke.edu>
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Subject: Re: license question
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> Whether this is "good" or not is a value judgement.  When I released 
> NQC, I felt uncomfortable with the GPL, and opted for MPL.  I assume 
> Markus had similar feelings when he released legOS.

IIRC, legOS is MPL because Kekoa released some of his code under MPL, and
so Markus released the rest under MPL in order to allow him to use that
particular section of code. I believe that he once mentioned that his
natural leanings would otherwise have been towards a public domain style
license.

Luis

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

	    "Summertime... and the living is easy...
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From: kekoa@pixel.Stanford.EDU (Kekoa Proudfoot)
X-Real-Life-Name: Kekoa Proudfoot
Subject: Re: license question
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<Pine.GSO.4.10.10008091454430.1724-100000@teer13.acpub.duke.edu>
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Luis Villa  <liv@duke.edu> wrote:
> > Whether this is "good" or not is a value judgement.  When I released 
> > NQC, I felt uncomfortable with the GPL, and opted for MPL.  I assume 
> > Markus had similar feelings when he released legOS.
> 
> IIRC, legOS is MPL because Kekoa released some of his code under MPL, and
> so Markus released the rest under MPL in order to allow him to use that
> particular section of code. I believe that he once mentioned that his
> natural leanings would otherwise have been towards a public domain style
> license.

I chose MPL because Dave did! :)  It probably would have been GPL otherwise
though.

-Kekoa

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From: Dave Baum <dbaum@spambgoneenteract.com>
X-Real-Life-Name: Dave Baum
Subject: Re: license question
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Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 04:37:51 GMT
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In article <Fz1KGs.CAE@lugnet.com>, kekoa@pixel.Stanford.EDU (Kekoa 
Proudfoot) wrote:

> Luis Villa  <liv@duke.edu> wrote:
> > > Whether this is "good" or not is a value judgement.  When I released 
> > > NQC, I felt uncomfortable with the GPL, and opted for MPL.  I assume 
> > > Markus had similar feelings when he released legOS.
> > 
> > IIRC, legOS is MPL because Kekoa released some of his code under MPL, 
> > and
> > so Markus released the rest under MPL in order to allow him to use that
> > particular section of code. I believe that he once mentioned that his
> > natural leanings would otherwise have been towards a public domain 
> > style
> > license.
> 
> I chose MPL because Dave did! :)  It probably would have been GPL 
> otherwise
> though.
> 

I guess its all my fault :)

The choice between GPL and MPL was a tough one.  My main worry with 
using GPL was that I have a lot of "generic" code from other projects in 
NQC.  Now if had I released under GPL, and other people made 
improvements to those modules, I would not have been able to use the 
improved modules in any non-GPL projects.  

I also considered the library version of the GPL, but MPL seemed to fit 
better.  If NQC had been written completely from scratch I probably 
would've went the GPL route.

In the end I think it mattered very little.  All of this Lego work is 
being done in a very cooperative environment.  I don't think anyone has 
wanted to do something that was prevented by MPL (but would've been 
allowed by public domain), and on the flip side I don't think anyone has 
exploited the MPL to do something "evil" with the software that could've 
been prevented with the GPL.

Dave Baum

-- 
reply to: dbaum at enteract dot com

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