PyCom choose GPL3

Discussion and questions about boards that can run MicroPython but don't have a dedicated forum.
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Lysenko
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PyCom choose GPL3

Post by Lysenko » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:51 pm

Opensource: We are due to receive final GPL V3 licence on 11/11/16 and will immediately released source code on Github.
That's from their forum.

So, given that GPL3 is the ebola of software licenses, would I be right in thinking that PyCom board support will be tightly quarantined such that none of their code makes it into the mainstream builds? MicroPython will become instantly unusable for many purposes otherwise.

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kfricke
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by kfricke » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:47 pm

Lysenko wrote:So, given that GPL3 is the ebola of software licenses, would I be right in thinking that PyCom board support will be tightly quarantined such that none of their code makes it into the mainstream builds? MicroPython will become instantly unusable for many purposes otherwise.
This is not the case. Is is just their way of protecting their investment in their company Pycom. According to great summaries like this, it is plausible. Only their derived and contributed code should need to be placed under the GPLv3.

dwight.hubbard
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by dwight.hubbard » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:26 pm

Yes but it also means any changes they make can't be merged with the MIT licensed core without relicensing the code.

It effectively makes their changes a permanent fork. Which is sad from a community standpoint.

Personally It also means I won't be using their boards for anything but small hobby projects which is really sad.


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Lysenko
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by Lysenko » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:45 pm

kfricke wrote:
Lysenko wrote:So, given that GPL3 is the ebola of software licenses, would I be right in thinking that PyCom board support will be tightly quarantined such that none of their code makes it into the mainstream builds? MicroPython will become instantly unusable for many purposes otherwise.
This is not the case. Is is just their way of protecting their investment in their company Pycom. According to great summaries like this, it is plausible. Only their derived and contributed code should need to be placed under the GPLv3.
That's what I said.

MP itself is MIT which is a non-issue. The fact that PyCom wrap the MP core in a few bits of GPL3 code of their own invention is also a non-issue. The problem would be pollution in the other direction with PyCom code getting into core MP.

The Linux kernel avoids GPL3 (and the "or later" clause of GPL2) for exactly this reason. You can write GPL3 software that links to Linux, but you can't contribute GPL3 code to Linux itself.

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kfricke
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by kfricke » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:55 pm

Let's not paint the future in black! They did donate several features back to the MicroPython project (Initial WiPy/CC3200 port, Threadding). I do assume that they know what they are doing and whose shoulders they stand upon.

Their move to open-source their work sounds great IMO and is absolutely plausible in regards of protecting their newly founded company.

Let's see how they act in the next months and if they catch up with the MicroPython master branch (if they have not done already in an internal branch of their repository). Please do not judge them purely based no public announcements.

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deshipu
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by deshipu » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:00 pm

Look at this from the other side. If MicroPython itself was GPL3, there would be no drama like we had several weeks ago about Pycom publishing the code in the first place.

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kfricke
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by kfricke » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:01 pm

dwight.hubbard wrote:...
Personally It also means I won't be using their boards for anything but small hobby projects which is really sad.
...
If you choose to use their work, you can buy their boards or let them build it for you if you want to benefit from it personally. They by themselves can of course sell their own products (software and boards) under any license they want. That is how the the world of GNU licensed software did develop over the last two decades (e.g. check MySQL dual licensing).

Lysenko
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by Lysenko » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:14 pm

deshipu wrote:Look at this from the other side. If MicroPython itself was GPL3, there would be no drama like we had several weeks ago about Pycom publishing the code in the first place.
If MicroPython was GPL3 a lot of people wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. If you're just building hobby projects for your own use then licenses don't matter, but if you are doing anything commercial you can't risk GPL3 getting loose in your code bases. That (I repeat) is why Linux won't adopt GPL3 or even adjust its GPL2 wording to accommodate it.

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deshipu
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by deshipu » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:08 pm

kfricke wrote:
dwight.hubbard wrote:...
Personally It also means I won't be using their boards for anything but small hobby projects which is really sad.
...
If you choose to use their work, you can buy their boards or let them build it for you if you want to benefit from it personally. They by themselves can of course sell their own products (software and boards) under any license they want. That is how the the world of GNU licensed software did develop over the last two decades (e.g. check MySQL dual licensing).
Only as long as they don't accept any contributions, or make every contributor cede the rights to them...

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kfricke
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Re: PyCom choose GPL3

Post by kfricke » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:23 pm

Naturally. But i recall that they have a team of 3-4 dedicated developers at hand. So they have a fair degree of independence i'd say.

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