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Re: OpenSSL and GPLed programs

On Mon, Jun 18, 2001 at 03:25:36PM -0600, Wesley W. Terpstra wrote:
> On Sun, Jun 17, 2001 at 01:32:58PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > > We're based in Canada - which I had hoped meant the export problem didn't
> > > apply to us.
> > (It does)
> Could you elaborate?

It does mean the export problem doesn't apply to you. AFAIK, anyway. IANAL,
nor a Canadian.

> > > 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.
> Ok, so because the only code that links to OpenSSL is our LGPL library there
> is no problem? The fact that our GPL'd code links to that LGPL library and
> thus transitively to the OpenSSL is irrelevant?

Nope, the GPL code requires *all* the libraries it uses, even transitively,
to be GPL-compatible.

What you might be able to get away with, depending on your circumstances,
is having the SSL portion be optional: ie, you can install your program and
libraries with or without SSL, and get good use out of them either way.

> Although I'd rather leave it as straight GPL, you say adding a clause like:
> "This program is released under the GPL with the additional exemption that
> compiling, linking, and/or using OpenSSL is allowed." is sufficient?
> (http://www.openssl.org/support/faq.html#LEGAL2)

Sounds fine to me.


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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