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Re: [Talin@ACM.org: Suggestions for wording...?]

On Sun, 18 Jun 2000, Joseph Carter wrote:
> Hopefully this clarifies Talin's request a bit..  I won't be able to
> answer for at least 10 hours, probably longer.  I'm going to BED.
> On Sun, Jun 18, 2000 at 10:29:32AM -0700, Talin wrote:
> > I recieved a few suggestions which, unfortunately, seem to be based on
> > misunderstandings of what I'm asking for.
> > 
> > The license that I want should have the following features:
> > 
> > 	1. Be compatible with the GPL.

Then you must use a license with *fewer* restrictions than the GPL, and
don't deny adding restrictions. For example, the BSD/MIT/Apache licenses,
at least the newer versions without the advertising clauses.  Only those
kinds of licenses are compatible with the GPL.

> > 	2. Allow linking with other open-source licenses.

Almost any license which satisfies #1 will satisfy #2.  Do you also have a
requirement on what license the "larger work" will be under?  If that is
"GPL", then certain open-source licenses will not be compatible, as they
have their own requirements about larger works, such as the MPL.

> > 	3. Should be as restrictive as the GPL when it comes to proprietary
> > software, i.e. it only allows linking with proprietary software in
> > certain special cases.

Since you can't simultaneously have fewer restrictions than the GPL, and
be as restrictive, this may be where the inconsistancy lies.

> > Here is the language I came up with:
> > ----
> > A special exception to the GPL listed below is that this
> > program may be linked with any libraries or components that are
> > distributed under a license that meets the Open Source Definition
> > (http://www.opensource.org/osd.html), and that such components
> > shall be considered seperate works, not covered under the terms
> > of this license.
> > ----
> > However, I'm not sure that this language is legally sound. Please help
> > me debug it.

That's fine, however this software will then not be compatible with other
pure-GPL software, which would prevent this kind of special-case.  I.e.
"GPL, except ____" is an oxymoron as a license, though authors of GPL
software may choose not to enforce it in certain circumstances (e.g.,
Linus and binary-only kernel drivers).

At least this is my understanding.


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