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Re: New CUPS license violates DFSG 6?

Glenn Maynard wrote:
On Tue, May 14, 2002 at 12:23:51PM -0400, Michael Sweet wrote:
The license exception is there specifically so that MacOS and Darwin
developers can link against libcupsimage or derive their own code
from various parts of CUPS without worrying about the GPL or
licensing CUPS themselves.  The wording should not (and I don't

What does the linking exception give them, since the library is already
LGPL?  Is it just to ease the Apple lawyers, as Jeff suggested?

Currently the CUPS raster driver stuff is GPL'd (and will likely
stay that way) to encourage vendors to develop open-source drivers
or pay for the priviledge of using CUPS to support their printers
under UNIX/Linux.

Apple wanted the exception so that vendors could develop raster
drivers "for free" under MacOS X and Darwin, and also so that
Apple could use the existing filters and backends as templates
for their OS X code.  In almost all cases they are releasing
their additions to CUPS as part of the Darwin (open source)
CUPS tree (the PAP and USB backends are like this), while other
things like their PDF RIP are "closed" (although that might
change since the PDF RIP is just a wrapper around Quartz 2D)

In short, Apple licensed CUPS for all of their users and

see how it does) restrict use in any way - it just provides
relaxed licensing terms when using it on one platform, with the
rest enjoying the GPL/LGPL licensing CUPS has used for a while.
(I would guess that would make the CUPS license a BSD/GPL/LGPL-like
license... :)

For the sample filters and backends, could this be given to everyone
(BSD-license), or is there too much real code in there?  Sample code is
often licensed more loosely than other code.

It would certainly be possible to make the sample printer drivers
available under a BSD-style license, however the current license
is complicated enough as it is, and any of those drivers would
still depend on the GPL'd cupsimage library...

Could someone fork CUPS and remove that exception from the fork?  I
think that would be needed for GPL-compatibility

I think any fork would need to preserve the original license
conditions under the GPL, but IANAL.

[PS - please CC: me in any replies since I am not currently
subscribed to the debian-legal list...]

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products                  mike@easysw.com
Printing Software for UNIX                       http://www.easysw.com

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