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Re: a better copyleft licence

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org>:

> > The LGPL doesn't seem to prevent someone from adding a non-free
> > extension to a program. My clause is supposed to prevent the worst
> > abuses by insisting that the added code can reasonably be considered
> > an independent and separate work.
> That just means that someone can slap on somthing so that the code can
> run standalone.

I intend the expression to mean rather more than just that. I could
add some explanation about what should reasonably be considered an
independent and separate work, but I think it's clear that each part
should be useful without the other part. For example, libssl is useful
without mutt, and mutt is useful without libssl.

> My impression is that your clause actually offers less protection than
> the LGPL.

Why do you think it offers less protection? I was hoping it might
offer more protection.

Let's consider the example of someone adding to Mutt a non-GPL module
that lets Mutt talk to some kind of mail server.

If Mutt were licensed under the LGPL (assuming it makes sense to
license a non-library under the LGPL) then I think you could make some
random small changes to existing files and put most of the new code in
separate files that could be licensed any way you want (and might be

However, the intention of my clause is that you would have to put the
new module in a separate library that communicates with Mutt via a
clean, generic API, so that one could reasonably claim that the
library is an independent work that doesn't require Mutt.


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