timeline addon licence


you might as well start reading with my third post and the Joonas Lehtinen reply before that, because in the first two posts I was “beating around the bush” until I understood the license for the part I’m interested in.

My project is commercial, copyrighted, all rights reserved.

My project commercial value would be ~1 euro / client, so to use Timeline addon would mean I need at least 400 clients to start with :blink:

I read
that using Timeline addon requires my project having a GNU-like license as well? I see no such paragraph, and I don’t believe it, so I kept reading.

I also read around here
and can’t tell whether I can use a more restrictive setup as the host for the GNU licensed source code. Furthermore, I have no problem releasing the source code for the Timeline addon if I modify it, so I don’t see how that would be incompatible with my legal setup. Also can’t find where it said I have to have a GNU-like license if using GNU licensed source code.

Anyone can clear this legal entanglement up for me please?

Reading, I see no issues with my setup, as the following seems to say:

Even more to the point, I came upon

In short, I gather from all this that if I use Timeline addon AGPL-ed, if I make modifications, I must also put up a download link to the modified source code for the modified Timeline addon (the logic being that the author can then get this modification for free :grin:), but I’m not required to post the source code of my application, or put it under a GNU-like license

Is this correct?[color]


Won’t let me edit in the following, so here it goes:

I see I can use it as is:


Does “The output from running a covered work is covered by this License only if the output, given its content, constitutes a covered work.” mean I can input a datasource and use it or it’s not a “covered work”. Darn obfuscated legal language…

I think you’re not allowed to modify the original unless you make the modification public source code:

And most importantly:

it answers my question, that my copyrighted work and AGPL-ed work comes as an aggregate, and they hold their own licences (common sense would have it like that)
My work is not and extension of the covered work, nor does it limit it’s licence, although the users can only reach the whole shmeer it if they buy the service of the commercial site

I’m confused. Why the CVAL licence which seems very restrictive then?

No. AGPL requires (your) project using the add-on to be available with one of the GPL-compatible licenses to all of the users of your application. If your application can be used any anyone in the world, then the project source code should be available to anyone in the world. If your application is only used within your own organization, then you do not have to provide copy of the source code to anyone outside your organization. The major difference between GPL and AGPL is how use is defined - with AGPL you are using the software if you are using its user interface (say through a web browser) while as with GPL you are only using by having a copy of the application.

I know you have more experience with this stuff, so don’t lose your patience if I start nit picking (clarifying) a bit (in Romania I’ve proven I know more about the law than the magistrates, that is prosecutors and judges - though reading the law in english may make me commit mistakes as it’s not my native), because my experience sais that the law needs interpreting by the text of the law, not by “tradition” of how it has been interpreted so far. That’s because the spirit of the law, which is justice, pertains to the text of the law as it was intended usually, not how someone interpreted at some time, and may even have gotten away with an error in his favour, starting a trend because the law is also applied homogenously (because every law is a right, and a right derives from equity, which means if one exercises a right, all can do the same, w/o infringing on another’s [lawful]
right [in theory]
. I mention [lawful]
because sometimes the law itself is not at par with equity or justice).

“This License explicitly affirms your
unlimited permission to run the unmodified Program
Does this mean as a client or as a provider of services? Doesn’t say… which means it’s free for all.

“The output from running a covered work is covered by this License only if the output, given its content, constitutes a covered work.”
This means the AGPL only pertains to the
covered work
(makes sense), so it doesn’t extend over the application it’s part of necessarily.

“This License acknowledges your rights of fair use or other equivalent, as provided by copyright law.”
as follows:

In this text

“and which are not combined with it such as to form a larger program” ruins my hopes -_-, unless I’m interpreting wrong, because the
Timeline addon
is an addon, not something I combine with my source code. My data source is my own, the Program is its own.
because this text below would’ve allowed me to use it in my program otherwise.
“Inclusion of a covered work in an aggregate does not cause this License to apply to the other parts of the aggregate.”
sais that Timeline’s licence doesn’t apply to the other parts of the aggregate.
However this means w/o further interpretation that Timeline addon is compatible with the Vaadin directory it is part of.
This is not an exclusive, general statement however. I have yet to find the explicit part that denies me a use scenario in my program.

So, under Basic Permissions, we have:

See, in 0. Definitions, the terms “propagate”, “covered works” and “convey”.

The datasource is not part of the Program, only the product of the Program, which is the processing and display of data that constitutes a covered work.
Furthermore the datasource is free as well. I do not own it and I put it up for everyone to see. So it’s compatible with the Program’s License.

I do not allow “other parties to make or receive copies”, so this doesn’t apply to my use scenario

But I think I hit a snag:

The ability to see a Timeline chart would be limited (conditioned), for being part of an visual unit of work of my program that displays data in a table and also allows the user to see that data in a Timeline chart if he chooses, that’s only accesible if the user pays the 1 euro fee.

Which corroborates with this part of the license:

As in the Liskov Principle, the preconditions may not be strengthened in the subtype (I think the analogy applies -_- )

So I think I can only use the Timeline chart if that unit of my program is unconditioned on access, such as a demo area. Conditioning it commercially probably means buying a commercial license such as CVAL? Haven’t looked into CVAL so IDK… but makes no sense putting it in a demo, then not using it in the conditioned part of my program :grin:

So, my conclusion upon this study is that I can use Timeline addon as long as I’m not imposing any conditions on the clients, with AGPL.

If contradicting this statement above, please use arguments from the License itself, because the FAQ seemed nonsensical to me, as some of statements seemed either contradictory with other statements of the same FAQ, then some statements seemed contradictory with the License itself.

I am not a lawyer nor a license expert (despite having a little experience with them), but thousands of others are and have analyzed the widely used licenses such as GPL, LGPL and (to a somewhat lesser extent) AGPL very carefully - some of these analyses are available on the web. I do not really have the time nor the expertise to read and comment on every point of your reply as that would require getting very deep into the license text.

AGPL is effectively a derivative of GPL that exists simply to “plug the hole” in GPL of not having to distribute your code to users when you don’t distribute object code - e.g. the UI of web applications that uses the library. As far as I know, it is as “viral” as GPL and has some specific “compatibility clauses” with GPL.

Many have analyzed what is considered as covered works for a Java library under GPL or AGPL - a very complicated and controversial topic that has been discussed extensively for years by the experts - but I believe the consensus is that all applications e.g. using Java APIs specific to the library do count as covered works. The aggregate clause covers cases where using another library that does not use specific APIs of the library under AGPL.

Based on this, I believe AGPL is problematic in your case and you would need to purchase the CVAL license for your use.

Maybe Joonas can take a look at the FAQ and how it matches the license, but with licenses such as these, simple and understandable descriptions of the spirit of a license necessarily have to leave out much of what the license text says - the texts serve very different purposes and often for different audiences.

I don’t have a problem sharing the UI source code, I have a problem sharing my bussiness rules source code which are on another tier of the application. This text truly requires me to find some external references from experts interpreting this (though the other issue as conditioning access to running the Program by the client, I’m inclined to think I hit it spot on)

CVAL is not feasible for me with this application, so I’ll use VisualizationsForVaadin instead, or adapt the GWT control that inspired Timeline addon (had the GWT control bookmarked for at least an year) if I have the time.

This matter is not an urgent or kingpin issue for me, and it’s been a good exercise in understanding what I’m dealing with going out on the open market legally.
I’m sure others can benefit from this thread.

P.S. I don’t like the selection square in the Timeline demo anyway, it appears out of place in FF :grin:
Maybe they fix it by the time this legal issue is cleared up one way or another.