• Creator
  • #2159548

    GPL issue.


    by dhcdbd ·

    I am working on an open source program that eventually I will modify to something else. I have currently had to rewrite approximately 50 % of the code to optimize its operation, resource use, and execution speed. I expect that when I have finished with the optimization I will have rewritten 80 – 90 % of the code. That is prior to branching it to what I need.

    Before I branch, I will return the optimized code to the author with copious notes on what changes I have made.

    My question is: how much of the original code has to be modified before the GPL looses effect?

    The changes seem to be significant; as example, in one for loop I rewrote the code so that mathematical functions were pre-calculated and then only changed in the for loop when needed. This eliminated 523 calls to the calculation function. This has been typical of the entire body of the code. At one point the optimizations ran so quickly that the GUI became unstable and I had to rewrite portions of the GUI, while leaving the layout and output the same, before I could return to the math functions. I have also had to rewrite the code so that it is readable and maintainable.

    The reason for my question is that while the program itself currently is a guitar/fretted instrument tuner, I plan on branching it to calculate some other features for advanced tuning methods and would like to keep the body of the code private.

All Answers

  • Author
    • #2987930


      by dhcdbd ·

      In reply to GPL issue.


    • #2987920

      You might like to read this

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to GPL issue.

      Yea I know pretty basic but it is a starting point.

      As I no longer do this type of thing I’m unsure about the answer to your question but even if you where to totally rewrite the entire thing I think you’ll find that because the Original Idea and what you reverse Engineered was GPL under the terms of that Licensing Agreement what you write should be GPL as well.

      Though that doesn’t mean that you can not sell the application if you wish.


      • #2989228

        Thanks Col,

        by dhcdbd ·

        In reply to You might like to read this

        Yet that link begs more questions than it answers. First, prior art would have the general idea of a tuner for a snack. Second, by the time I am done optimizing the program is essentially new code that only uses the GUI in the original. Third, I consider things like EULA’s and licenses unenforcible because they are considered contracts and violate contract law. The right question has failed to come up in these cases – “Did you sign a contract? Where is the signed contract?”

        Finally, I eventually intend to distribute the final product, but to ask for a 2 – $15 donation in both a Windows and Linux format. However, until I resolve what issues there may be with my code, I prefer to keep the code private to eliminate distractions.

        What do you think of one company who releases the binary but charges $14,000 for the source. Would this work?

        • #2989216

          Hum how does [u][i]No Comment[/i][/u] sound? :0

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to Thanks Col,

          Well if you are the company charging for the Source it would make you lots of money for nothing at all. 😀

          As for the EULA I try to avoid Legal Terminology I don’t need the headaches that come with it. I suppose if you chose which ones to Prosecute like M$ does it just might sort of work but even then I haven’t heard of one that actually went to court every one that I have ever heard of was settled before the Court Action Started because it was cheaper for the defendant to do things that way. Of course it’s not in M$ best interests either actually going to a Court as they may not like the outcome. :0



        • #2989211


          by dhcdbd ·

          In reply to Hum how does [u][i]No Comment[/i][/u] sound? :0

          I telephoned the FSF and they refused to answer the question about how much of a rewrite is considered new code.

        • #2989157

          It’s probably too complicated for them. :D

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to Oh,

          But maybe if you look at things this way because you are using the Same GUI the Program is considered the same app. As you have to look under the Hood to see the changes for anything other than the speed that it executes at.

          Good luck with this one I think your going to need it.


    • #2986955

      the GPL sucks, no SANE programmer would touch it.

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to GPL issue.

      as far as code change goes, at 51% it is different enough to allow for you to call it yours, legally.

      better to change everything and call it a fork of the original project.

      or rewrite everything and license it under whatever license you choose, since at 65% they allow for license changes.

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