[SciPy-User] Central File Exchange for SciPy

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Mon Nov 1 14:52:31 CDT 2010

On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 14:30, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>>> My personal opinion is that in the long run, it would be beneficial to
>>> have this 'file exchange' have BSD-only code (or public domain, since
>>> employees of the US Federal government as far as I understand must
>>> publish their codes under public domain terms).
>> The flip side of this is that there are many environments in which the
>> distinction between GPL and BSD is irrelevant, eg for code we deploy
>> internally at work and do not distribute.  Suppose someone writes some
>> really nifty code that depends on pygsl.  I would rather have access
>> to it on the file exchange than not.  If the code submission dialogs
>> has a choice of licenses with BSD as the default, and selection of
>> non-BSD takes them to an explanation of why we prefer BSD and an "are
>> you sure" dialog, then including this code is beneficial in my view.
> The risk is that people will tend to pick up code snippets from the
> file exchange and paste them into their own code.   It will be very
> easy for them to accidentally pick up GPL code and accidentally
> relicense, leading to a viral licensing mess.

What viral licensing mess? Accidentally releasing GPLed code as part
of your code does *not* retroactively make the rest of your code GPLed
without your consent. It just means that you distributed the GPLed
code without the proper permission. The remedy for this infringement
is simply to stop distributing the GPLed code. You lose some time and
create some hassle while you fix your code to work without the GPLed
code, but there is absolutely nothing irrevocable about it.

tl;dr You cannot "accidentally relicense" your code. No such thing.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as
though it had an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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