I decided to check, how much place the "simple" explaination of LGPL conditions to the end user would take, especially if he is about to make a commercial use of his software. I added the new appendix to the documentation and began to write. The result was a two-screen-long list of explainations, why and how the website creators can use it, when the source code must be published etc. Of course, it is unacceptable. I don't like too complex constraints and my intention is not to force the others to follow them unless there is a significant reason.
The reason why I chose LGPL, was to protect the library against changing it into a proprietary software. Such story happened to Wine project, distributed under the X11 (MIT) license. After a while, a proprietary versions appeared, whose creators did not wish to share their source code. Although one 150-KB library is not too valuable, I prefer to be calm and be sure, especially if the other project are going to appear. Unfortunately, there is no license that would suit to our needs:
- Full right to link with open-source and proprietary software under the condition of retain/reproduce copyright information, and retain the license conditions in case of source code.
- Requirement to redistribute the code itself (intented to link with non-author's software) with the source code, and as a consequence, retaining the license.
I think such license would be the best protector of end-user laws. By forbidding the redistribution of the library itself only in a binary form and/or witch changed license, he is sure that every OPT package found in the Internet can be used in the same way, as the original one. If he encounters a closed-source version, it means that it is adapted to this exact project and it is not indented to link with other scripts.
The best candidate is one of the modified BSD licenses without the advertising clause. Unfortunately, I'll have to add the statement mentioned above on my own in English, and the legal language is not so easy. It will take some time and probably will require some help from the West. That's why the development versions of OPT will be still available under GNU LGPLv3 and the final release will be released under the terms of much easier license.
Except that, I would also like to provide a paid versions of the libraries, inspite of using a liberal license. They would not be expensive - the price of $10-20 should be acceptable to everyone interested. The income would be used to keep the domains, servers and advertising, because it requires some money. The paid version would be the same, as the free one, when it comes to the source code, but it would include some add-ons. The ideas are:
- Additional articles and tutorials.
- The right to include them into your documentation.
- Sample projects with well-documented source code.
- Earlier access to the new releases.
- Additional releases in case of finding any non-critical bug.
- The right to provide detailed information about your project on our website.
Unfortunately for the international user, for some time it will be available only for Poland. The international service will require some extra preparations. However, I think the idea is good and everyone should be happy. We have the money to keep our website and resources alive, the customers, because they have some extra content and rights and the rest of the users too - in order to convince them, we will try to prepare new tutorials, FAQ-s etc.