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Re: licensing confusion

On Thu, 04 Mar 2004 18:30:27 +0100, Marek Habersack wrote:

> Hey all,
>   I know it belongs in debian-legal, but I'm not inclined enough to join yet
> another mailing list which I will read few and far between, so I will take
> the liberty to ask my question here.
>   It's simple - how is it possible that most licenses used by free software
> are incompatible [1] with GPL and yet debian mixes them in many projects it
> distributes (like mozilla, php, apache to name the most prominent ones).

PHP is definitely not "mixed" (I assume you mean linked against) with
GPL'd software.  Looking at the things PHP links against, all libraries
are either LGPL'd or fall under some other license (even libbz2-1.0, whose
copyright file contains upstream's non-GPL license, as well as the
GPL license for the _debian packaging_; that's one I hadn't seen).  As a
matter of fact, libmysqlclient12 is GPL'd, while
libmysqlclient10 is LGPL'd.  That forces php4-mysql to link against the
older library.

> What are the rules to freely (as in freedom) use the other licenses which
> are incompatible with GPL and to remain compatible with GPL without being
> forced to use it in your own projects which you don't want to license under
> GPL/LGPL? Does one have to obtain some kind of exemption from any of the
> "sides"?

That run-on sentence is making my brain hurt.  One generally provides an
exception clause in their GPL'd software, stating the license (or
software) that they will allow linking with (or forming of derived works
with).  There are numerous examples of this with GPL'd software that links
against OpenSSL (at least 2 of my packages have such a clause).

> confused,
> marek
> [1] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLIncompatibleLicenses

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