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Re: libreadline

On Sat, May 04, 2002 at 12:14:42AM -0700, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Also, a point of information for those of us who don't know all the
> details.  The GPL-incompatibility in the Open SSL package is purely
> that it contains a variant on the old noxious BSD advertising clause.
> Has anyone asked the OpenSSL project if they would consider removing
> the clause?  (Or replacing it with a request?)

It's the original authors' (Eric Young and Tim Hudson) license that's
difficult to get changed.

I contacted Richard Stallman about this a year ago to get a gist on the
FSF's opinion, his reply was:

>> Am I correct in thinking that the advertising clauses are the only cause of
>> a conflict with the GPL? There's also the weird little:
>> * The licence and distribution terms for any publically available version or
>> * derivative of this code cannot be changed. i.e. this code cannot simply be
>> * copied and put under another distribution licence
>> * [including the GNU Public Licence.]
> That IS a problem.  It prohibits including this code in a GPL-covered
> program, and therefore is incompatible with the GPL.
> That license comes from EAY.  I tried asking him to change it,
> but he said no.  I think there was a misunderstanding about what
> I was requesting, but he didn't want to listen to the explanation.

(>> == me, > == rms)

Getting the license changed seems pretty unlikely. There's "gnutls"
which is an SSL library that's being developed under the GPL, which GPL
programs can link to. Unfortunately non-GPL programs can't link to it,
so we've pretty much blocked ourselves off from being able to have a
single SSL/crypto library that all free software can use, which is a
shame. Unless someone starts up a third project, of course.

Especially amusing is that the effect of the snippet above seems to be
to effectively copyleft OpenSSL anyway...

BTW, this is just noted for reference, not for debate. It's unlikely that
GPLed programs that link against OpenSSL will be let into main if the FSF
still have reason to think it's not legit. If you can get Eben Moglen to
say it's okay, OTOH, I'm sure everyone'll be convinced.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

     ``BAM! Science triumphs again!'' 
                    -- http://www.angryflower.com/vegeta.gif

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