Are alternative implementations of SAFE Core possible?

  1. What is the purpose of dual-licensing the SAFE core? Are there any plans to start selling it?
  2. Can the community develop alternative implementations of the core software and distribute them under arbitrary licenses? Were the patents taken to prevent this?

Perhaps this will answer some of that?:

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Thank you for your answer @davidpbrown.

I have already read the info on that page. It’s about forking the existing code that still will be distributed under the GPL. And what’s about writing a new implementation from scratch? Technically, the patents can be used not only for fighting patent trolls but for patent trolling as well, can’t they? But will they?

Apart from that it’s still not clear to me why the second proprietary license is needed.

Looks like this link is relevant (at least, apparently, it was 2 years ago): MaidSafe - Licensing

Our code is protected by a revenue clause that allows non-GPL codebases to be created completely at the behest of the developer, with only a very small 1% (of revenue) fee

Is it still true? Or has the fee changed since that time?

At the moment the code is GPL3 and commerial if required. The commercial part allow us to fork a non GPL branch if we wish. I think this will vanish over time, but is related at the moment to another issue, not relvent here.

So at this time continuing with GPL3 is fine and forking etc. is also fine. What exatly are you looking for? maybe that will help us understand?

The code is not licence free as unfortuantely that does not work these days. It is licensed GPL3 to protect against non free implementations at the moment (free as in beer as they say), so every commit needs to come back or at least be available.

I won’t get into licensing as in over 15 years on slashdot and forums we (sofware devs) have never found a good solution to that in the open source/ and/or free software movements, but if it’s something else then hopefully I can help.


Good day, @dirvine. Thanks for your reply.

What exatly are you looking for?

I wanted to play with implementing the SAFE protocol myself from scratch. Just to make sure I understand how it works. But I’m surprised that, apparently, Maidsafe is not happy about it, is it? Though I haven’t read the patents yet.

I asked about the commercial license because I had been contributing to dozens of different Open-Source projects and none of them were dual-licensed. Most of the time it was either GPL/AGPL (for SaaS projects) or BSD/MIT (for developer tools). And it worked.

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You can write anything you like if you share your changes under the open source license. Restrictions only apply if you want to keep your derived code closed source.