[PD] software license for pd general patch?

Roman Haefeli reduzierer at yahoo.de
Tue Jun 29 10:49:48 CEST 2010

On Tue, 2010-06-29 at 02:20 +0200, João Pais wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm doing last touches in a Pd patch that is a general tool to make click
> tracks. That can (and hopefully will) be used by any musicians, such as
> instrumentalists, conductors, composers, ...
> The patch is/will be available free of charge, only paypal donations are
> accepted (or suggested). But I'm considering using a different license
> than the general BSD license I usually ship my abstractions with. Since
> it's a rather complex patch (and if I get any grants to continue to work
> on it, it might get even more complex), I would prefer for people not to
> edit it too much - although most of the people using it won't be able even
> to open the gop.
> Another aspect is to prevent anyone to grab the code and do a commercial
> version of it. Not that it will happen anytime soon, but it might be a
> possibility.

a) I hear you would like to be able to distribute your patch.
b) A Pd patch is not easily turned into closed-source for technical

So in this case it's probably the easiest to take 'die Flucht nach vorn'
a.k.a making sure, that your patch stays open. This is what the GPL is
most suitable for, I think. 

> I was thinking of instead the BSD to use a CC license, the "Attribution No
> Derivatives" one - http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/.

Hm.. this makes the GPL unsuitable again. However, I do believe that the
CC licenses are more suitable for artistic works (not that a computer
program also can be an artistic work!), where a 'no derivatives' clause
makes more sense, because a derivative work might change the context of
the original oeuvre thus possibly changing the meaning of the original
work completely, which the original creator might like to avoid. 
In terms of software, since you have only little control over how people
adapt your patch for their own use (and of course, they probably _would_
like to change at least a tiny thing and forcing them to ask you first
adds an imho unnecessary layer of bureaucracy), I suggest that the best
options for you (and also for your users) is to 'pro-actively' allow
them to make changes. 
The most important part is the 'attribution' clause, which is covered by
both CC and GPL, iirc.


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