Adding the GPL to Fluid license? - requesting input

Sean Keesler smkeesle at
Thu Jan 10 17:15:16 UTC 2008

Yeah, the interest in copyleft is not in what *I* can do with the Fluid code
after I get from you, its what someone else is going to do with the code
after I contribute my enhancements back to Fluid.

Do we want a 3rd party (think big, now) to be able to take the code, enhance
it and be able to sell it without giving back? Chances are few folks will
find value in doing that...

But what if Fluid ends up designing standards for communications between web
apps (like the embedded helper tool stuff Colin started talking about
yesterday during the call)? An open standard for doing that would be pretty

What would happen if a giant came in and took the handy code (under BSD
license terms), "enhanced" it beyond recognition and never gave back?

Instead, what if they incorporating it into a popular app that became the
de-facto standard...but the Fluid version was incompatible and became
somewhat obsolete? Maybe we could improve Fluid components to try to keep up
with that company's new vision of the standard.

That might be fine. We might encourage it, right? Or maybe we wouldn't.


On 1/10/08 11:44 AM, "Sheila Crossey" <sheila.crossey at> wrote:

> Sean,
> I think you have a good point. I'm not sure it would allay their concerns
> unless perhaps there is some intangible benefit that they would see. So
> really the perceived "benefit" of adding the GPL may be illusory.
> Sheila
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sean Keesler" <smkeesle at>
> To: "Sheila Crossey" <sheila.crossey at>
> Cc: <fluid-work at>; "Barnaby Gibson"
> <barnaby.gibson at>; "Christopher D. Coppola"
> <chris.coppola at>; <licensing at>
> Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:01 AM
> Subject: Re: Adding the GPL to Fluid license? - requesting input
>> My understanding of the issue is that "pro GPL" developers are concerned
>> that their contributions to a body of code (Fluid) that is susceptible to
>> a 3rd party snatching it up under the "business friendly" BSD license,
>> enhancing it and NEVER releasing their 3rd party enhancements back to the
>> community would be a bad thing.
>> I'm not sure how licensing Fluid under multiple licenses would allay their
>> concerns.
>> Can you help me get it?
>> Sean

Sean Keesler
Project Manager
The Living SchoolBook
030 Huntington Hall
Syracuse University

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