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Re: [PHP4BETA] License concerns

From: Zeev Suraski <zeev@zend.com>
> What you're saying is that you may not use GPL'd software in conjunction
> with non GPL software, from a user's standpoint. That's completely
> absurd  in my opinion.

Fixing your license language to be OSD-compliant is a much simpler issue
than GPL-compatibility, and thus I hope you deal with fixing the license
language first.

Regarding GPL compatibility, were I in this position, I'd simply link
to the (superior, IMO) Sleepycat Software version of BSD DB and avoid
the issue with GDBM.

You can clearly link GPL-ed code to code bearing a license no more
restrictive than the GPL. In the case of other licenses, you _might_
be able to get away (legally) with dynamic-linking GPL-ed software to
non-GPL-ed software, because of the system facilities exception to the
GPL. Read it, it applies to things that are _distributed_ with the OS and
compiler, not only to systems code. Also you may be able to get away with
it sometimes because copyright law hasn't caught up with the concept of a
derived work as it is applied to software, and because nobody bothers to
prosecute this stuff.

However, linking GPL-ed software with code having a more restrictive
license is clearly going against the intent of the author who placed the
GPL on his work. FSF has stated that whether you link static or dynamic
doesn't matter to _them_. You should respect their intent as you would have
them respect yours. There are probably unenforcable elements in _your_
license too, and what really protects you from people mis-using your
license is public relations pressure, not the threat of a lawsuit.



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