[Zope] Re: ZPL and GPL: What should one consider when choosing a license?

Ross Patterson me at rpatterson.net
Fri Dec 21 19:59:22 EST 2007

David Pratt <fairwinds at eastlink.ca> writes:

> In relation to Chris's post, my understanding of the Zope repository
> is that a committer is required to sign an agreement with Zope Corp or
> ZF. This requires the code to be licensed as ZPL with 50% of
> intellectual rights to Zope Corp or ZF. Hope this helps.

And if we set up a licensing howto, it could also say something like,
"If your code is on svn.zope.org then it *has* to be ZPL due to the
contributor agreement you signed, dumbass!"  :) I'll be fixing the
licensing on my svn.zope.org projects as soon as I can carve out the
time.  Thanks for the heads up.


> Ross Patterson wrote:
>> Recently, someone wrote to me regarding one of my z3c packages which
>> is licensed under the GPL.  They asked me to license them under the
>> ZPL saying that the ZPL would allow the widest range of use for those
>> packages.  They also implied that using the GPL impacted the
>> licensing of other code that uses mine.
>> Mostly this is just a debate I've never taken up before.  I've always
>> just chosen the GPL because it's the most aligned with my values and
>> ideals on a "visceral" level.  IOW, it's a gut choice not an educated
>> choice.
>> I realize this is an old debate.  I found some lengthy threads on
>> zope-dev from 2001, but I think there have been some license changes
>> since then.  I also read the following blog posts:
>> http://radio.weblogs.com/0116506/2005/11/21.html#a370
>> http://awkly.org/2005/11/21/gpl-considered-harmful/
>> Unfortunately, the comment by Chris McDonough mentioned in the latter
>> doesn't seem to be accessible any more.  I'd love to read it.
>> From those blog posts, I don't really see any corroboration of the
>> claims of the person who made the request that I switch to the ZPL.
>> What exactly about the GPL narrows the range of developers who can
>> use my code?  What about the GPL impacts the license of other code
>> that depends on my code?
>> Here's what I want.  I want anyone who modifies or forks my code to
>> make their modifications just as accessible to myself and the
>> community as my code is in the first place.  I also want anyone who
>> forks my code to credit me and other contributors as authors of the
>> code they forked.  I have a slight preference to allow proprietary
>> code to depend on my code without having to open source their code.
>> I definitely want commercial entities to be allowed to sell products
>> and services that include my code as long as credit is given to the
>> authors.
>> That's just what I want from my admittedly naive perspective.  I'd
>> like to hear comments on why others think I should or shouldn't want
>> any of those things from a license.  I'd also like to hear how others
>> think the license available relate to what I want from a license.
>> Thoughts?  Is there documentation somewhere about choosing a license?
>> Maybe a howto I missed in my googling?
>> Ross

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