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Re: OpenSSL and GPLed programs

On Sat, Jun 16, 2001 at 04:03:33PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> This doesn't make OpenSSL non-free, but it does cause problems for a
> number of packages in the archive which both appear to be under the GPL,
> and which are linked against openssl. These are:
> <snip>
> Probably, we should contact the authors of these packages and get
> exception clauses where possible. Otherwise, we probably need to
> remove many of them from the archive. Note that the exception for stuff
> "distributed with the major components of the operating system" doesn't
> apply if we distribute both the executable and the libarary in Debian.
> It probably does apply for third-parties, though, fwiw.

Goodness. I had no idea about this. One of my projects has just been
released under the GPL and it links to OpenSSL. I take it that this is a

I'm only really using OpenSSL for RSA (which is no longer patent encumbered)
and retrieval of SSL protected webpages (which can use unencumbered

We're based in Canada - which I had hoped meant the export problem didn't
apply to us.

What are these exclusion clauses you mention? Is there something I can put
in the licence to fix this problem?

We wanted our libraries to be LGPL and tools to be GPL but one of our most
basic libraries links to OpenSSL. Is there any way to work problem forcing
our libraries to be non-LGPL?


Wesley W. Terpstra - Linux Developer

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