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Status of Corel's Front end to Apt

I'm the Product Development Manager for Corel Linux and I hope it's
appropriate to provide a brief clarification on Corel Update (otherwise
referred to as the Front end to Apt and formerly known as Get-it) to
make sure there is no misunderstanding.

Corel Update is an application which dynamically links to libapt. When
the issue was identified to us, we contacted Jason, set the license on
our code to GPL and asked for an exemption to resolve the issue with the
Qt library as quickly as possible. Jason agreed to an exemption for QPL,
but since we're currently using Qt 1.44, we need an exemption for the QT
Free license. So as far as the license on the Corel code goes, there is
no issue since it is GPL. The only known outstanding issue to resolve is
that of the link of the Qt library under the Qt Free license and libapt
library under GPL. (As yet, we haven't been contacted by Ian, but if he
does, then that may raise another issue)

What I think is most important to gain from the previous discussion is
that interpretation of the GPL is a major issue and everyone involved
should try to help the GPL evolve to a state that is above all free from
ambiguity. The issue raised by Ian is not so much an issue for Corel to
address as much as it is something the development community has to
resolve itself first since its implications extend far beyond Corel

Richard Stallman has had some communication with one of our engineers
and I've started a document outlining some of the areas that Corel's
legal department was concerned with. Unfortunately, I haven't finished
it and sent it off to Bruce Perens and Richard yet. I would also like to
emphasize that it is not Corel's objective to propose modifications to
the philosophy of the GPL or to modify its intentions but to help
identify areas in need of clarification so that discussions like this
one can be finally resolved. Every time a developer or company falls
into an gray area of the license, it discourages the use of GPL code. As
a result, ambiguity and uncertainty in the GPL will work against greater
adoption and development of GPL software.

Erich Forler


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