Vvvv is GPL 2

Hey devvvvs, patchers and hobby lawyers,

with a few guys we just had a discussion about the implications of the used GPL2 for vvvv. Granted we understood the license correctly, everything that links to core, hosting and plugins must be open sourced under a compatible license again

Some of us were under the impression that using an #import for those in a plugin already requires open sourcing the plugin itself.
Another reading was that linking an gpl2-protected node (like Keyboard (Devices)) also can be treated as linking, which makes almost every patch also necessary to be released under gpl (or compatible) as soon as you decide to release it to anyone at all.

This seems quite harsh and unrealistic, so I want to put this up for discussion.

this is especially important matter for seriously commercial packs (like the automata gui, pointcloud-dx11 or my future releases through uberact) where source code might have restricted access and flattr is kinda poking a dead horse. OR state that software which is linking but not modifying or using core and hosting outside of vvvv can have closed or restricted source components. most practical problem is, as vux pointed out, a legal savy client can rightfully demand a commercial project source code even when it’s protected with a dongle with current licensing of vvvv. it might be time to hire a freelancing lawyer to develop a custom vvvv-license ;)

hei velcrome,

now that you mention it i remember that @elliotwoods had mentioned something like that already years ago… and we forgot about it…i guess mostly because our intended reading was:

  • if you want to use any of those sources in an other context than vvvv, then those licenses apply
  • if you’re accessing anything of those as a vvvv user, then don’t bother

so we put it there just to make sure for ourselves but never thought that it would bother any vvvv user. but now you say it is not only us who can claim the GPLness of that code but anyone could? interesting…

so as microdee suggested we could of course easily add a statement like:

The following parts of this repository are released under the GPLv2

As long as used in the context of vvvv alternatively the LPGLv2.1 applies.

not sure if Richard would approve such, but i hope you understand our intentions and this works for you. what do you think?

yeah that’s very reassuring, I think LGPL only makes exception for linking but still “protecting” GPL-ness of work derived from sources. so simple LGPL without special “license switching conditions” should be enough to my understanding on core and hosting

well now it gets theoretical, i know but: we chose GPL over LGPL for those parts hoping that in the unlikely case that someone wants to use those parts in a closed-source commercial application, this would make them contact us first…

ah ok well if possible it would be good to have that conditional switching between GPL and LGPL, LGPL when used with vvvv, GPL when outside

Dual licensing (or conditional switch, as preferred) works indeed.

No matter the intent, it has to be set explicitly (nobody can mind read on that aspect…), so for now in the current status any vvvv developed application/plugin must comply with GPL since there is no specified exception.

See for example Java who has set such one (Java code is GPL, but applications using Java can be closed source).

Again this is stated in their license, see http://openjdk.java.net/legal/gplv2+ce.html

thanks for your inputs. i just updated this accordingly: https://github.com/vvvv/vvvv-sdk