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Re: a better copyleft licence

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org>:
> > That just means that someone can slap on somthing so that the code can
> > run standalone.

On Thu, Sep 28, 2000 at 06:39:24PM +0100, Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> I intend the expression to mean rather more than just that. 

Ok, so it needs work.

> 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.

But what does "useful" mean?

> For example, libssl is useful without mutt, and mutt is useful without
> libssl.

For example, let's say I wanted to use gcc to implement microsoft's
upcoming C#, but that I didn't want to lose control of the language.
So, I implement a library that my IDE uses to do stuff like syntax
coloring on the source code, automatic adding of drop-downs, and such
at appropriate points in the code, etc.  And, I use that library
to interface to gcc, using gcc's internals in a fashion so hopelessly
complex that it would take years for anyone to implement anything
competitive.  [And, of course, in years, I'll have made a lot of

For this case, your conditions have been met, and you'd have a license
which offerered considerably less recourse than just licensing gcc under
the lgpl.  [At least with the lgpl, they would have been forced to use
some kind of public interface.]

> > 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.

Does my above example help?  Would you like a different one?

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

You don't even need to modify mutt for that. Just create something which
supports writing a mail message to /usr/bin/sendmail's stdin. [You'd
want to support a few sendmail options, but just a fraction of the
total. I can give you some pointers if you're interested.]

I know this works because I use it already (my .muttrc has
a line that says:

	set sendmail="/home/moth/bin/sendmail -oi -oem"

And, yes, I do things on mail delivery which aren't options 
with any existing implementation of /usr/lib/sendmail.


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