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Re: Library License


On 03/22/2012 09:20 AM, Miguel Angel Ajo Pelayo wrote:
> In fact, I think that GPL is a bad license for the libraries kicad libraries,
>  (authorship details appart...),
> In my opinion:
> * GPL is perfect for all the *sourcecode of KiCad*, and that must be keept like that.
> * GPL license is bad for the*library parts or footprints* (at least LGPL or some kind of
> CC must be the minimum here).
> Why?, source code of project, completely open must be perfect for anyone, what we want
> is KiCad to go forward in development and features.
> But having so restrictive licenses like GPL in the preinstalled footprint or libraries
> could be a entrance barrier for many companies to use KiCad, and I think
> we all want many companies to use kicad, and if possible, put some effort in
> development, like Dick is doing from softplc, or I'm doing (just a little) from Nbee.
> So, why put entry barriers to KiCad growth if we can easily avoid it? :)

The source code has not been part this discussion.

I think your points are fairly representative of the community.  In fact, I thought we
were a little further into our conversation, that we had some slowly evolving consensus
that we needed something "better" than the GPL for the part/footprint libraries.  But what
constitutes better?

1) a policy statement is needed, so the concerns of the original poster are addressed, who
is representative of the kind of person who does not want barriers.  Brian's statement is
an *example* policy statement.

2) as part of that policy statement, we could clarify or change the license, or remove it
by going public domain on the parts and footprints.

My questions in the earlier email were intended to figure out what protections, if any,
the project needs so we can best deal with need 2) above, and also to facilitate a turbo
charging of footprint and part sharing.

3) 1) and 2) may dictate that some procedural changes regarding the contribution of parts
and footprints come about.  If new parts coming in are under copyright, (and I believe all
new work is), some standing procedure may need to be in place to deal with that copyright
on parts and footprints, or demo boards.  Such as signing a contributor agreement (again
based on (2) above).  For example, if public domain is the choice, a declaration should be
made to that effect.  Otherwise perhaps agreement to the chosen license.  This the formal
way to do it.

In my opinion, more important than the tentative adopter of KiCad, is the vigorous
recycling and sharing of parts and footprints.  So I do not want to throw the baby out
with the bathwater.  I don't think we are any where near optimum on sharing parts and
footprints.  This is a far bigger problem and more important than scaring folks away with
a vague licensing issue.  In fact, if you solve my concern, you will bring in more folks
that way than making them "comfortable" with the parts/footprints licensing.   I don't
want the solution to one problem be a disincentive or impediment to another opportunity
that we have, which is to "turbo charge the sharing".  So let's not do damage to a
turbo-charging opportunity.

Market share seems to be what we are after?

"Market share" makes us what again?   Proud?  Great in the eyes of our children?

I cannot remember, maybe I never knew.


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