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Re: Intent to package xmemos

On Tue, Mar 30, 1999 at 02:53:21PM -0500, Peter S Galbraith wrote:
> Richard Braakman wrote:
> > KELEMEN Peter wrote:
> > > On Sat, 1999-03-27 23:24:31 -0800, Darren O. Benham wrote:
> > > 
> > > > Legally, you can not distribute GPL software that's been linked to
> > > > xforms.  To include it in Debian, it has to be compiled against fltk.
> > > > If it won't compile, it has to go the way of KDE.
> > > 
> > > XWatch is a similar program.  [...]
> > 
> > This is indeed a bug.  I've just filed it against xwatch.  Thanks
> > for pointing it out.
> Now I know where the xwatch bug report comes from.  Here's what I
> replied to Richard:
>  The program falls under the same conditions as Lyx (also GPL'ed)
>  which is why I didn't persue a license change.  After following a
>  related discussion on -devel in October (archive/latest/15697), I
>  concluded that the GPL conflict applies only to software not
>  originally developed under a non-free library (e.g. say the KDE
>  team takes ghostview and write kghostview linked against Qt; that
>  would be against the GPL unless they get permission from the
>  ghostview authors).  Since the author initially designed xwatch
>  to work with xforms, I concluded that there was no conflict.  The
>  author agreed.
>  I would be happy to clarify the license if you could provide a
>  paragraph to add to it, stating that linking to libforms is
>  allowed.  Since you posted the bug report, perhaps you already
>  have in mind a statement that would satisfy you.  The upstream
>  author has given me permission to do whatever I felt was
>  required with the package, including changing the license.
> Any comments from the legal crowd?  Any standard add-on XForms
> packages can add to the GPL?  BTW, The Lyx license is _still_ GPL
> you know...

    GNU Hello World using xforms
    Copyright (C) 1999 Joe Programmer

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
    Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
    option) any later version. 

    You may, at your option and for the purposes of distributing this
    program in object code or executable form under Section 3 of the GNU
    General Public License, assume that the xforms library as distributed by
    Company XYZ, Inc. is normally distributed with the major components of
    the operating system on which the executable or object code runs. If you
    choose not to excercise this option, you may distribute this software
    only under the terms of the GNU General Public License and may remove
    this paragraph.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307 USA

I've suggested a similar clause like this in the past for a program that
used QT, and after thinking about it for a while, I made some changes. Most

* Spell out "xforms as distributed by Company XYZ", or "QT as distributed by
  Troll Tech" in order to prevent someone from creating another non-free
  library called xforms or QT and then exploting the permission notice as a
  loophole. You might want to include the company's address and perhaps the 
  phrase "and its successors," but I don't know if this may introduce any 
  unneccessary loopholes or limitations. 

* Allow distribution of the source under the plain GPL to limit license
  incompatibility. ("If you choose not to excercise this option, you may
  distribute this software only under the terms of the GNU General Public
  License and may remove this paragraph.") This would allow parts of xmemos
  that don't require xforms to be used in other GPL'd projects.

Brian Ristuccia

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