[PD] gpl vs creative commons

Roman Haefeli reduzierer at yahoo.de
Tue Jan 29 01:17:48 CET 2008

On Mon, 2008-01-28 at 18:06 -0500, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> On Jan 28, 2008, at 1:23 PM, marius schebella wrote:
> > Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> >> On Jan 28, 2008, at 3:45 AM, Frank Barknecht wrote:
> >>> Hallo,
> >>> Damian Stewart hat gesagt: // Damian Stewart wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> then there's the question of whether any and all Pd patches are   
> >>>> 'derived
> >>>> works' (derived from Pd) or '[a combination of] two modules into  
> >>>> one
> >>>> program' and therefore need to be GPL.
> >>> Pd isn't GPL, so even if patches were derived from it, you'd be fine
> >>> in that regard.
> >> Most externals are GPL'ed (and therefore Pd-extended too), so  
> >> there  you have to watch.
> >
> > does this mean it makes a difference if I use a library from within  
> > pd-extended or install it myself?
> Technically, yes, but in reality, not really.  If someone tried to  
> enforce the GPL on you, then you'd just have to make your own custom  
> build using the BSD licensed code.
> > from my understanding GPL is more restrictive than the Pd license  
> > (BSD). because it forces me to publish whatever I create under GPL  
> > again.
> > does working with a library that is gpl force me to open source my  
> > pd patch? is a pd patch a derived software at all? and if yes,  
> > which are the libraries that can be used without problems?
> > marius.
> That's an interesting question.  I think that if you write a patch  
> that uses a Pd library that is covered by the GPL, technically, your  
> patch is covered by the GPL.  If those libs used the LGPL then you  
> would not.  It's a bit of a gray area, but I release all my code  
> under the GPL, so I haven't really worried about it.

not that i am an expert in this field myself, but i have the strong
feeling (and iirc, i was told so), that this is not true. a song made in
cubase is not affected by the license of cubase. a patch made in pd is
not affected by the license of pd and is basically only a text-file with
no relation to the source of pd nor to any external nor is it statically
linked nor is it a derivate of the pd source code (one could perfectly
write a pd-patch without touching pd at all nor reading the source of
pd). as long as the patch is distributed without pd's or any external's
source code, you are free to distribute it under whatsoever license you
and i am pretty sure, that the same rules also apply on one level up:
the songs you create with my patches are not affected by the license i
gave to my patches. the songs you made with my patches derive from a
legal point of view from your creativity (not mine) and therefor fall
under your copyright (and are not affected by the license of my

ask a lawyer to check in detail, if this is true. however, if licenses
could cross 'levels of abstractions' in the sense of pd patches being
affected by the license of pd, actually nothing could published anymore
without violating licenses (or everything would need to be distributed
under the same or compatible license). 


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