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DC SMF Search Mod - an improvement search for smf forum (codename Zillarank)

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Here's the description by smf of their licensing choices, which always seemed pretty reasonable to me, and it's why i never worried about this issue:

I can understand their expressed desires and don't have a problem with them.

Philosophy is philosophy, a good read it may be; terms are terms, that we have to abide by.  :)

Read: Microsoft and Open Source

I dont see any part of the above SMF and Open Source write-up that cannot be justified with "we're closing source and charging for it because only experts are coding it and there's no fork to confuse users -- a win-win situation".

I AN NOT A LAWYER blah, blah, blah


Whenever I try to explain something like this, it always seem to come out as criticism, so I apologize as it is not intended to be such. However, since there are many readers of that may be new to these types of legal issues, I just wanted to mention that you should not have any problem with the code being copyrighted, per se. Even software from FSF, Apache, etc. is copyrighted. The copyright shows ownership, and the license tells you how you can use it. Without copyright, you have no ownership, and without ownership nobody would have to right to license the code. So, even if you write code yourself, you would not be able to put a license on it, not be able to tell people how they could use is it, nor could you tell them how they could not use it, *unless you claimed it as yours via copyright*. (Which under US law you can do to anything you create by simply affixing the copyright logo and/or the words copyright year whoever. If it is important enough, you should consult a lawyer after that. Because that is just the first step. There are more if you want it to be enforceable.)

So 1) always copyright what you write (as you can always release it to the public domain later, but it doesn't work the other way around.) 2) If you want it to stick in court, consult a lawyer.

Then, after you claim ownership, you can license it to others, for example, under the GPL v3, or the Apache license, or BSD, or any of the other gazillian licenses out there.

I am not an expert. There is a great deal more material out there on the Net and elsewhere, so if anybody is interested they should read further.

I just didn't want some of the people new to the issues at hand here to start out with a skewed concept that all copyright is evil.

So I'm saying it pays to study smf alternatives like phpbb3 (I'll try) and design our site components to be less reliant on SMF forum software.
-Wordzilla (July 10, 2007, 02:38 PM)
--- End quote ---
Even though i do agree with what you're saying, i'm very sorry to hear it.
SMF forum software is miles away from any forum software i've used, and this means that a change would be a huge step backwards.

I have a doubt: are smf updates that important?
I mean, if they go payware, aren't we allowed to keep using an older version? And if we would do that, would we miss out on anything important?
From what i can see, if they don't even update their crappy search, i don't think we need them at all.

Speaking just for myself:

I like smf.
We have donated to smf repeatedly.
I do not have a problem with paying for smf if they go to a pay model that is reasonable.

My concerns in this case are not about paying for stuff - i'm just objecting to what i perceive as an inappropriate attitude and approach from smf management, which i fear may be a sign of them moving in wrong direction in terms of management and maintenance.

Having said that, i agree with wordzilla that it is unwise to be so dependent on software that could overnight move to a license that would make it unusable.  But i think jgp's point is also valid -- we could always just stick with our current version if they did that.


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