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Re: Recently released QPL

On Tue, Mar 23, 1999 at 04:17:06PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote:
> > It was long enough ago that providing a copy may be somewhat difficult. 
> > It's been a few months.  I'll see if I can find it though.
> If it's been that long, I think there's a reasonable chance you're
> remembering a mis-interpretation of what he said.

No, people on irc have seen it---and they didn't believe it until I
reproduced it either.  I couldn't find a copy of the original reply but
it's possible netgod may have it in an irc log.

In the letter RMS told me that even if the terms of the GPL and the QPL
were identical for all practical purposes, the QPL is not the GPL and as
a result the QPL may only be compatible with the GPL if it allows the
work to be sublicensed under the GPL, as is the case for LGPL works.

He also cited the specific example of the X license being GPL compatible
because you can quite literally take the GPL and insert it at the top of
the file and have the result be the same as the GPL alone.  Since no
other license permits this and this and the method used in the GPL are
the only two viable ways to have something directly compatible with the
GPL, we've got bigger problems than the QPL.  That is, we would if RMS'
opinion is correct, which I do not believe to be the case.

Of course as we know the QPL is not a match for the GPL terms in
different language, so that issue is probably moot.  The bigger issue is
then are we permitted to mix GPL and _MOST ANYTHING ELSE_ at all?  Based
on the email from RMS in December, no we aren't.  If people want to know
why I consider the "GPL virus" a bad thing, there is the answer.  If
everything that links with the GPL _MUST BE_ 100% GPL, then there are
serious licensing problems with every single Linux distibution if no
other reason than because people have in-discriminantly used BSDish code
(sans advertising clause) within GPL code.

RMS Cc'd, I'm sure he'll have some interesting comments as always.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>            Debian GNU/Linux developer
PGP: E8D68481E3A8BB77 8EE22996C9445FBE            The Source Comes First!
<BenC> cerb: we subscribed you to debian-fight as the moderator
<BenC> cerb: list rules are, 1) no nice emails, 2) no apologies

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