a better copyleft licence
Apparently SSL support will be disabled in future Mutt packages due to
yet another GPL-incompatibility problem.
You all know the sort of problem: according to some people's
understanding of the GPL and copyright law, GPL software X cannot be
linked with GPL-incompatible software Y and then distributed even if X
and Y are separate works in separate packages.
No doubt some people approve of this, but I think there are a lot of
people who would prefer to apply a milder form of copyleft to their
programs. How should they do this?
Invent yet another licence? I hope not.
Find an alternative licence? I don't know of one. I think my ideal
licence would be somewhere between the GPL and the LGPL.
Use the GPL with some additional permission? This is the possibility
I'm thinking about. What I would like to do is add some wording that
has the effect of making the GPL apply only to what you would normally
call a derived work and not to entirely separate works that happen to
be linked with that work.
Perhaps someone can advise me whether the following paragraph,
inserted after the paragraph that says "This program is free software;
you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU
General Public License ..." would have the right effect, or maybe
someone can suggest a neater formulation.
In addition to the permissions in the GNU General Public Licence, if
this software forms part of a program or library ("this work") then you
may compile and link this work with other programs or libraries ("the
other works") and distribute the resulting program or library in object
code or executable form under the terms of version 2 of the GNU General
Public Licence with the additional special exception to Section 3 of
that licence that the source code distributed need not include the
source code for the other works, provided that this work can reasonably
be considered an independent and separate work from the other works and
that the other works can reasonably be considered independent and
separate works from this work.
(Is this off-topic? I don't think so. If Debian could come up with a
milder form of copyleft, people like the Mutt developers would
probably be happy to apply it, and then Debian would suffer less from
GPL-incompatibility problems, so Debian would benefit.)