Off Topic discussion regarding Licensing

This is just silly… Some of these are because of copyright, and some are because of common sense…

I can literally sell someone a version of blender for money, and noone can even lift a finger. Thats the point of Open Source, everyone OWNS the program.

You can compare it to this. A guy gives out free apples. I take an apple, plant a tree, grow another apple, and sell it for money. The guy could’ve just gone to the first guy who was giving the apples for free, but instead i charged him money for it.

Scum move by me, but nothing illegal.

I own that apple just as much as i own my copy of blender.

This is also incorrect. A corporate can copy blender, make it their own, and sell it, but they can NEVER lisence it. The software will always go under Creative Commons.

Maybe if they branch out as far as to make the code unrecognizable… Its not a matter of “agree” or “disagree”.
For them to “buy” blender, i have to agree just as much as the founder of blender.
I own blender just as much as the guy who founded it.

He owns Blender Foundation, which is the studio that runs the official release site.
But there is nothing stopping me from making and releasing my own updates just like Blender Foundation is doing. I just would probably not get as many clicks :stuck_out_tongue:

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Not necessarily. Plenty of plants are patented.
If you grow and sell them you can be fined.
Farmers have been fined because patented plants grew on their soil that was accidentially blown over by the wind from a neigboring plantation.

Well, they can never “buy” Blender in the sense that it is “gone” for others. I don´t see where we disagree.

In my example i used a guy who was giving out apples for free. Wild apples form his own farm. He owns the tree, and the apples, but as soon as he gives it to me, he has no right to it, and i can plant a tree to sell apples of my own.

Now that is impossible because every single developer who has ever contributed code would have to agree to it.

Because even if every developer who has ever worked on blender, and even if every addon developer also agrees, noone will still be able to lisence blender. Its open source for ever.

Not neccessarily. If the crop is patented you might not have the right to sell those apples. Seeds can be treated like Autodesk licenses. You buy the right to plant, harvest and sell the fruit for one year. Then your right expires and you are not allowed to plant the resulting seeds. If you want to plant them again your have renew your subscription.
There are even plants with “DRM”. Their reproduction capabilities self destructs after the first generation.

The critical aspect of “open-source licenses” (such as GPL) is that they are legally enforceable copyright licenses which not only stipulate that the product is free, but stipulate that no one else can rig up a fence around it and start selling tickets. Courts throughout the world have recognized the validity of this principle. Even though the license does not call for the licensor to “make money” – it does precisely the opposite – it is nonetheless “a copyright license” in every legal sense, and it has teeth. You can be sued for violating the GPL – it has already happened.

This novel form of licensing was the “secret sauce” that made cooperative software development possible. Cooperative development, in turn, is what gave us most of the software that today runs our computers, phones and so on … not to mention Blender, OpenGL, etc.

Software development is prohibitively expensive, unless you cooperate. But “the goodness of your heart” or “a handshake promise” won’t cut it – there had to be a legal basis to enable corporations to participate. Today, this is “established law” world-wide.

For example: the foundation of Apple’s iOS and MacOS operating systems is still open-source Darwin, and Apple continues to be Darwin’s principal maintainer. Apple – a multi-billion dollar corporation – is able to do this because of this form of licensing.

The way you can make money from open source, is doing something like putting it on DVD. then you sell the DVD. This is legal, as long as the license is included.

With something like blender, you can put this on a USB disc, and included in the USB disc would be plugins that you made for it. Or maybe it includes a set of base models for sculpting, along with a sculpting manual.

One of the best things about open source, is that we are free.

You can, for instance, create a series of models that were made using Blender, and sell those models. You can create proprietary extensions to Blender or anything else. You can include a copy of Blender on that media for the convenience of your customers.

But Blender remains the “enabling technology” that is the product – and, the intellectual property – of literally hundreds of cooperating software developers and organizations.

When the Blender web-site states that Blender is “free to use for any purpose, forever,” that is a legally enforceable statement and grant under copyright law. Everyone who ever made a contribution to it owns a piece of it … cooperatively.

“Many hands make light work.” “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

P.S.: the SQLite open-source database system is even more interesting: it is in the public domain. And, they have a team of lawyers to ensure that it stays that way. There is no copyright license of any kind covering that product, and there never will be. (I’m not quite sure why they went to the extra trouble, however.)


What would that team of lawyers be doing, since once it’s in the public domain they can no longer have any say about it, and anyone is free to take it and make a proprietary derivative work out of it or anything else they feel like?

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Do you prefer public domain licenses over GPL?

SQLite’s lawyers ensure that the product remains in the public domain while various people make contributions to it to which they could otherwise claim copyright. I really don’t know why they decided to do it this way, instead of simply using a license like GPL, but it is obviously a very deliberate choice on their part.

:man_shrugging: … As for me, I would have said, “GPL (et al) is a familiar and established legal status – public domain is unusual.” I don’t know what this offers them, but then, I’m not a lawyer.

Note, therefore, that there is by definition no such thing as a public domain license, because the legal meaning of public domain is that no copyright exists, or can exist.

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…or is no longer under copyright.

As most countries do not have public domain defined in their constitutions and/or laws, works in the public domain have no real protection other than the definitions of copyright law and can be stolen from the creative commons. An inventor can publish an invention to the public domain with good intentions and end up being sued for infringement and legally forced to stop working on his invention without recourse.