[PD] software license for pd general patch?

João Pais jmmmpais at googlemail.com
Tue Jun 29 11:17:34 CEST 2010


* there were lots of answers, I'm going to try to reply to them all here,  
even if you text doesn't display. I hope that the original authors can  
remember their words *

>>> Since it's a rather complex patch I would prefer for people not to
>>> edit it too much
>> Curious. I make complex patches and I prefer that people would edit  
>> them.
> What's surprising? That different people have different wishes about how  
> their own work gets used?
>> In any case, I don't think that you are stating the real reason. There's
>> a missing (implied) part in your sentence.
> I guess "complex" implies that he spent/invested a lot of work on it,  
> and this in turn implies he is sort of "jealous" (which I _don't_ say in  
> a negative sense in any way) of his work, and would like to maintain a  
> certain "control" or "paternity" over it or at least "avoid" (see below)  
> that someone else does.
> While this may be contrary to the generous sharing spirit of the open  
> source community I think it's more than legitimate.

I think you got my intentions/feelings the best. It's not a "complex"  
patch because I'm such a crafty guy and want to show off, it's a complex  
patch because it's a mature tool with many features (in it's own small  

About the "generous sharing spirit", as I said, the patch is (for almost a  
year now) free to download in my Pd page for everyone. The patch has  
already reached a mature state, maybe a 0.9 version, but there are many  
more features that I could put in - some of them just simple user-friendly  
stuff, other ones newer features. Also, it's missing the  
feedback/experience of a user base to report on eventual errors,  
user-friendly features, non-programmer point of view, etc. etc.
[a small parenthesis: when I present this patch to musicians, they find it  
excellent, and they ask why don't I commercialise it and make profit.  
since it was Pd in the first place who let me write the patch, I prefer to  
make it available for free]

Not that it would be likely that someone would "steal" the code and make a  
payable version of it in a standalone with a nice interface (which Tcl/Tk  
can't do), but until I've had the opportunity to put in the rest of the  
programmed material, I would want to keep control over it.
Until so far I've worked xxx hours on this using my free time, but I won't  
do it anymore, I have other priorities. I would want to work on it only  
when finding some support (either grants, or having people "comissioning"  
features). Not that I'm expecting to become rich with the paypal button  
(I'm sure it won't even make up for the time already spent working on  
this), but in order to work even further on this I would have to be  
cautious, and hope that at some point I get the conditions to sit down,  
being sure that the month's rent is covered.

>>> (and if I get any grants to continue to work on it, it might get even
>>> more complex),
>> Complexity of a patch is not a goal in itself.
> Joao didn't say it is a goal in itself, he just prospected a likely  
> future. While it is not necessary, project often (or even usually) do  
> grow in complexity as further work is done on them.

once again, the reply I would have written myself.

>>> although most of the people using it won't be able even to open the  
>>> gop.
>> Why won't they ? and then, why bet that it will work ?
> I think he said he doesn't want to bet it will work,

once more, the right answer. in the first paragraph of my mail I wrote  
that this patch is to be used by general musicians. people who a) don't  
know what Pd is, b) don't care to know what Pd is, c) don't really want to  
know what Pd is, d)only installing an external program to open a software  
is already a very complex task [I almost went to max/msp to write a  
standalone for this], e) just want to click somewhere in the computer and  
have the thing pop up and work. And optionally, with a shiny display and  
some eye-candy thrown in.

Mathieu, I don't understand where you got the "why bet that it will work"  
line. If you mean that the patch will work, so far people with no  
experience in Pd can install and run it with no problems, on both win and  
mac (if 1000 people get to use this, I would doubt that even 5 will be on  

>>> Another aspect is to prevent anyone to grab the code and do a
>>> commercial version of it.
>> Licenses do not prevent people from doing things, they just give you a
>> basis for legal action. This is a deterrent,
> Well it is almost impossible to prevent anybody from doing anything; a  
> deterrent is the best you can (reasonably) get in such a context.

Exactly, and if a clear statement is there saying that they can't do it,  
but they do it, I would have legal reason to act. Not that it would pay  
off anyway, but any deterrent is better than no deterrent. Or I would have  
to follow each copy with a couple of handshells.

On Tue, 29 Jun 2010 03:44:37 +0200, Bernardo Barros  
<bernardobarros2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Olá João!

Oi, tudo bem?

>> 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.
> I think BSD says that your code can be used also in proprietary software.

exatly, that's what I want to avoid.

>> 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.
> Why? You may want to think about this point. Think this, if somebody
> else changes your code he/she is not 'stiling' your code, you will
> have the credit for what you did, and even *you* could use the
> modified version if you find it is better for what you may want to do
> in the future. Who knows?

the patch isn't locked, it's open, anyone can go inside and see how it  
works. and as I said, the patch itself is a bit complex, so I doubt that  
many people will have the time/desire to spend that much time with it.  
specially this mob, because hardly anyone here is interested in click  

I'm all up for suggestions, and will be very grateful for them. What I  
want to avoid, is that my work gets "sabotaged" if someone runs away with  
this and makes a new software with it (which is very unlikely to happen,  
but a possibility) - then all my time would have been for nothing.


More information about the Pd-list mailing list