3DSMAX plugins licenses issue

Loic Dachary loic at gnu.org
Tue Mar 5 12:52:31 UTC 2002

Karin Kosina writes:
 > Hash: SHA1
 > ### Loic Dachary [Tue, Mar 05, 2002 at 01:21:06PM +0100]
 > > Is the compiled version of a 3DSMAX plugin subject to a
 > > license other than the license of the plugin itself ? 
 > Forgive me if I am asking a very stupid question here, but since when is
 > it possible to have different licenses for the source code and the
 > binary? Do you know any examples where this is so? I find this very
 > strange... if you have a license for the src, and another one for the
 > binary -- what license are all the meta-stages covered by? (like, say,
 > compiled but not yet linked objects?) 

	Thanks for asking, I should have explained in more details.

	The binary should be released under the same license or at
least a compatible license.  Provided that everything that you find in
the binary comes from the sources.  In the case of a statically linked
program, for instance, the binary also contains code from
libraries. If one of the library is not released under a GNU GPL
compatible license, the resulting binary cannot be distributed.

	In the case of the 3DSMAX plugin, it may (not sure) very well
be the case that the binary contains some program and data that were
extracted from the 3DSMAX distribution during the compilation/linking
process and therefore subject to the same licensing terms. Since the
licensing terms of 3DSMAX are proprietary, they conflict with the GNU
GPL, hence the binary cannot be distributed at all. It may also be the
case that Discreet has a licensing policy specific to the plugins. But
I was not able to find information on this subject.

	I hope this clarifies the issue. 

	As a side note, I'd like to stress that the problem would not
be solved by using a Free Software license that is all permissive. The
problem is purely related to the proprietary license of 3DSMAX that
would contaminate (yes, I use this word on purpose and with pleasure
;-) Free Software, regardless of the license chosen.


Loic   Dachary         http://www.dachary.org/  loic at dachary.org
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