Subject: Re: Assistance/advice in choosing a license for POV-Ray 4.0
From: Chris Cason <>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2005 23:19:02 +1100

Ben Tilly wrote:
> Have you considered the LGPL?  And if so, could you explain how it
> doesn't address your needs?

One of the issues we have with the GPL and LGPL is that it doesn't really
attack the patent misuse issue in the way that e.g. the CDDL does. I have
strong feelings about how trivial patents are being used to wreck the
industry for small developers and frankly I'm more in line with the MPL's
8.2(b) rather than the CDDL when it comes to this subject (though apart
from that I prefer the CDDL over the MPL).

Additionally I am unsure if loading a library at runtime (such as Windows
DLL's) is legally the same thing as traditional linking (I would guess
that it would be but has there been case history on this?). Even if it is
'linking', then the linking takes place at run-time. Technically it
appears to me that until such time as the linking takes place, the
application is not covered by the LGPL since it's just being distributed
on the same medium. Whether or not this makes any practical difference to
our rights in terms of the vendor's requirements I don't know, however I
feel this might make things a little more difficult that they could be.

Thirdly, while portions of POV can in fact be used as a library, there is
still a lot of code that is application-oriented, and we would need to
work out a license for that, no matter what we do for the core code. I'm
not specifically against having two licenses, but doing so makes things
more complicated. (On the flip side, the non-core code is less of a
concern of ours protection-wise, since it's not really the guts of the
program. It's the core we need to protect properly).

Fourthly - and this applies to the CDDL too, of course - there is an
issue we have not raised yet, and that is that we would prefer that the
termination of license terms include termination both for violations of
the new license, and also for violations of previous licenses our
software was distributed under (even if it was a different codebase).
This isn't essential to us but it is certainly desirable; we don't want
to get firms who in the past have deliberately chosen to violate our
license to get another bite at the cherry.

Finally, there is a feeling amongst several of the developers that we
should not use the FSF licenses.

-- Chris