Archive - Oct 2010

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October 4th

Legroom.net Copyright and Licensing

Information regarding copyright and licensing of Legroom.net content and software has always been apart of Legroom.net, but it hasn't been available in a clear or consistent manner. I'd like to change that.

Historically, all software made available through Legroom.net has been licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. All original content on the site (posts, howtos, etc.) has been copyrighted to me, with (as the saying goes) all rights reserved. This arrangement has worked pretty well for a number of years, but there are a few deficiencies I'd like to address:

  • License information for software is generally not clearly presented, often only available in the source code itself. This has lead to numerous inquiries over the years from users and developers interested in using my software.
  • A few developers have expressed concern about my choice of the GPL for some software, as the "viral" nature of it can make it difficult to use my software with other, non-GPL software.
  • I'd like other people to be able to reuse my content (with certain limitations) where beneficial, but the default copyright noticed I've displayed doesn't make this at all clear.
    • I've been giving this a lot of thought over the last few months, and have decided to make the following changes:

      • All original content (mostly text) on Legroom.net will be available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This basically allows the content on this site to be reused for any purpose, with two restrictions:
        • Any reuse or derivation of my work must be properly attributed
        • Any reuse or derivation must be redistributed under a similar share alike license, to ensure the work remains "free"

        Complete details can be found in the link above. The copyright notice at the bottom of all Legroom.net pages has been updated to reflect this change.

      • Unless otherwise indicated, all of my software will (eventually) be relicensed under the GNU General Public License, version 3. This license change will take place on a per-application basis as new versions are released, which is why it will likely take some time to fully complete. Additionally, license information will be added to each application's web page to make this more clearly available.
      • Inno Setup CLI Help and Modify Path (Inno Setup Pascal script) will instead be relicensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 3. Since these application components are meant to be used in conjunction with other programs, the use of the GPL, as noted above, can make it difficult to incorporate into programs using non-GPL-compatible licenses. Switching to the LGPL should provide a reasonable compromise between allowing these components to be more widely used, while also preserving their freedom as much as possible. New versions of each will be released shortly to make the license change official.

      In addition to the above, I also plan on creating an "about" page at some point that contains a summary of this information, as well as contact information and other appropriate information about the website. Hopefully, all of these changes will help to make Legroom.net licensing and copyright information clearer and easier to understand, and allow my work to be more easily used by others (while keeping it free for everyone).

      Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome.