[wp-hackers] Premium plugin protection

Michael Torbert mrtorbert at gmail.com
Mon Dec 13 23:27:27 UTC 2010

That's not at all how that was intended in GPL. You can view PHP code when
you download the software, but obviously this isn't the case for compiled
code written in other languages. That's what the license is referring to. I
write x software for you in Clarion, license it as GPL, distribute it, but
you don't automatically have the source code since it's compiled. However,
if it's GPL, you can ask me for the source code.
This wasn't intended as a way for you to try and limit access to your
source. That completely goes against what the license (and open source in
general) is trying to do.
Stop trying to make open source adapt to you.

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 6:21 PM, Doug Stewart <zamoose at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM, Eric Mann <eric at eam.me> wrote:
> >> You're conflating beer and speech (a common error, no doubt).
> >
> > No, I'm not.
> >
> > For a system to be compliant with the GPL (whether it's a paid system or
> a
> > free system) you must provide the system's source code in "the preferred
> > form of the work for making modifications to it."
> >
> > So, if I buy a premium plug-in for you that contains obfuscated code, you
> > are still required to provide me with the unobfuscated code upon my
> request
> > of it.  Since we're working under the terms of the GPL, I have the right
> to
> > modify, add to, remove from, and redistribute this code.
> >
> > So what then is the value/purpose of selling me a piece of obfuscated
> code
> > when you are still required to provide me with the unobfuscated code as
> > well?
> >
> Ahhh, gotcha. The value/purpose is a simple one (though please don't
> hear me as agreeing with the premise): since you only have to offer
> access to the source code when asked ("make available") and you assume
> that the vast majority of your potential users don't actually care
> about having access to the code from a Freedom perspective, as long as
> you're only distributing encrypted/obfuscated code, your potential
> exposure to code/IP "theft" goes down concomitantly.
> Of course, you'd be better off basing such an endeavor on a platform
> that doesn't require a GPL license, but then, hey, I'm not saying the
> decision is a good one, just that it's a decision.
> --
> -Doug
> @zamoose
> http://literalbarrage.org/blog/
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