Re: Source licensing

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon May 10 2004 - 10:40:42 CDT

On May 10, 2004, at 6:01 AM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> Suppose some commercial vendor wanted to create a voting machine based
> on UC-developed software that (1) was compatible with the BVA, BRP,
> etc., (2) included a proprietary voice recognition system that allowed
> visually impaired voters to "speak" their choices into a microphone,
> and (3) copied the code from the EVM for creating the ballot XMLs,
> writing to the CD-R, reading the ballot definition files, etc.
> Suppose that this vendor got their system certified for use with the
> rest of our system. Is this something we want to allow or prohibit?
> GPL would discourage such innovation. A "FreeBSD"-type license would
> allow it.

I don't think GPL/EVMPL would discourage such an innovation. It would
merely require that the innovators release the source code for derived
works. It *would* prohibit vendors from creating proprietary derived
works (i.e. those vendors would have to act like Novell/Suse, and not
like Microsoft; but both are commercial sellers of software).

However, even there, if the voice recognition component was compatible
only because it obeyed published interfaces and APIs, not because it
directly modified UC/OVC source code, it wouldn't be bound by ANY
copyright restriction. The GPL allows use of unmodified code without
any extra publication requirement.

As to allow/prohibit on proprietary derived works... well, I defer to
the opinion of other OVC members. But developers tend to feel strongly
that it should be "prohibit."
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:29 2004

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