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Weblog:   IronPython 1.0 Beta 1 released
Subject:   Licensing: The elephant in the room
Date:   2006-01-02 18:14:28
From:   webmaven
The last time I looked, the IronPython license made it extremely doubtful that a non-trivial IronPython app written to take advantage of many of the .NET platform's features would be legal to distribute under the GPL or any other copyleft license.


To me, that's an open-and-shut case for 'not playing well with others', at least for the values of 'playing well' and 'others' that I tend to use.

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Showing messages 1 through 6 of 6.

  • Licensing: The elephant in the room
    2006-01-03 07:03:32  anthonytarlano [View]

    I think you need to reread the license and if needed seek a professional opinion, since I don't see any problem.


    Is there a specific section that leads you to this opinion?
    • Licensing: The elephant in the room
      2006-01-06 01:40:23  webmaven [View]

      Please see my reply to Simon Hibbs below.
  • Jeremy Jones photo Licensing: The elephant in the room
    2006-01-02 18:46:50  Jeremy Jones | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    You may have a point. I really can't say that I've researched their license to see how FePy could be used in GPL projects. However, what I was really meaning was "playing well with others" from an interoperability standpoint. One of their key focuses all along has been compatibility with CPython. And from reading the mailing list, I get the impression that they are at least communicating well with the Mono folks. While licensing is a huge issue, I think it's interesting to see prove some of my impressions of them wrong. At least it's a good start. I'll have to look into licensing though. It'd be interesting to see if they could really prevent a GPLed project from calling their libraries. That's almost like restricting GPL projects from Windows because those projects would be inadvertently calling system libraries. I'm not saying they haven't done it (or at least tried). I'm just saying that it'd be interesting to see how that would stand up in court.
    • Licensing: The elephant in the room
      2006-01-03 04:38:57  simon_hibbs [View]

      IANAL, but I can't see anything in the license that looks like it would preclude distributing GPL software that uses Iron Python. You even have the right to re-distribute Iron Python itself, but only under it's own license. That doesn't necesserily stop your software from having a GPL license, or any other form of license though.

      Simon Hibbs
      • Licensing: The elephant in the room
        2006-01-04 15:46:13  webmaven [View]

        No, nothing that *directly* prohibits it, but the conversations I've had with folks at Microsoft have made it fairly clear that as far as their concerned, importing constitutes making a derivative work.

        This has lead me to the conclusion that a GPL program that imports (ie. depends on) something from the .Net environment that is under a more restrictive license (and there is plenty of the .NET code that is) would not be legal to distribute.

        So, while it's true that a GPL-licensed program written in generic python would be perfectly legal to distribute and run on IronPython, anything that was written to take advantage of .Net's features (which would only be accomplished by importing other MS code) would almost certainly *not* be legal to distribute under the GPL.

        So, no GPL software written specifically for IronPython.
        • Licensing: The elephant in the room
          2006-01-11 05:13:11  Chemacortes [View]

          If .Net don't let you to distribute your software under GPL, then use mono. You can use IronPython to make freesoftware (GPL/LGPL/X11) perfectly.

Showing messages 1 through 6 of 6.