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Re: licensing confusion

On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 08:10:15PM +0000, Matthew Garrett scribbled:
> Marek Habersack wrote:
> >What crazy should be done with php4-gd then? Should it be crippled by not
> >linking it with libfreetype6?
> The PHP license appears to be compatible with the FTL, so there's no
> problem. The fact that Freetype is /also/ available under the GPL is
> irrelevant.
Yeah, I've learned that already from debian-legal. Well, it also seems that
the best license to use is the BSD one (the GPL compatible one) since it
generates the least number of problems which may cause headaches and drag a
coder away from his work.

> Code under two licenses can be mixed providing that all the requirements
> of each license can be satisfied. The GPL is a special case here, since
> one term states that no restrictions not already present in the GPL may
> be applied to derivative works. As a result, the set of GPL compatible
> licenses is much smaller.
(not seeking logic here, since as somebody nicely put it on debian-legal -
seek no logic within 10 miles from a lawyer) It might seem a bit backwards
that code can be licensed under two conflicting licenses (even if it's up to
the user to choose which of them to abide by). That way, in a mixed-license
project (for example one which allows its contributors to submit code
licensed under _either_ of their supported licenses, as opposed to _all_ of
their supported licenses) you can quickly reach the state of legal
schizophraenia where parts of your own product will be using the same
external code but under different licenses :). The BSD license seems to be
removing all that headache.

> >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)?
> If your code is under a license that is incompatible with the GPL, and
Caudium code is under GPL, and that's the whole problem.

> you wish to link against GPLed code, and you are not the copyright
> holder, you may not link against that GPLed code. This is because the
In this case it's the other way around. I can't link against OpenSSL since I
cannot get an exempt clause for Caudium to be linked with OpenSSL - since we
don't own the Caudium copyrights and we have no way of having the holders
talk to us. Oh well ;)

> >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,
> If it is GPLed, you may not link it against OpenSSL and distribute that
> combined work. If you're lucky, the GnuTLS compatibility layer for
> OpenSSL will be good enough and you can link against that instead.
yeah, it's one of the available options. We're considering using the
mozilla.org's nspr/nss, though.



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