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Re: OpenSSL and GPLed programs

On Sat, Jun 16, 2001 at 01:56:56PM -0600, Wesley W. Terpstra wrote:
> 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
> problem? 

If you're the author of all the GPLed code, it's not a problem for you
at all. In any way, shape or form.

It's probably a problem for third-parties (like Debian) though, who want
to distribute precompiled versions of your program: they can only do so
if they satisfy the GPL which says they can only do so if they distribute
the source to your program and all the libraries it uses under the GPL,
and the OpenSSL license specifically says we can't do that. Roughly. AIUI.

As the author and copyright holder, you can add an exception that
specifically allows linking with OpenSSL, or similar, and avoid the
problem. Someone else might be able to suggest a good wording.

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

(It does)

> 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?

I don't think there's any problem with the LGPL -- LGPLed stuff can be linked
to just about anything. It's the GPLed tools that'd be the problem.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

``_Any_ increase in interface difficulty, in exchange for a benefit you
  do not understand, cannot perceive, or don't care about, is too much.''
                      -- John S. Novak, III (The Humblest Man on the Net)

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