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Re: licensing confusion

On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 11:43:17AM -0500, Andres Salomon scribbled:
> 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
look at php4-gd (PHP license)- links against libfreetype6 (GPL/FTL with the 
latter being incompatible with GPL)

> 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 crazy should be done with php4-gd then? Should it be crippled by not
linking it with libfreetype6?

> > 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
I'm sorry, English is not my native language. I hope that this fact doesn't 
offend you.

> exception clause in their GPL'd software, stating the license (or
and what if one cannot do that because one is not the copyright holder of
the software but merely its current developer/maintainer (and the copyright
holder doesn't want to talk with that person/group)?

> 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).
Since it seems so easy to you, I would welcome any advice regarding
http://caudium.net/ and OpenSSL. The former is derived from Roxen WebServer
1.3, whose copyright belongs to RIS (http://roxen.com/) which company
doesn't care about the old software and ignored all the attempts to request
copyright transfer to the Caudium Group. I'm sure you will know the answer
to that question and I'm grateful for it in advance,



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