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Re: Obnoxious ad-clause strikes again.

Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> writes:

> On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 10:03:50PM +0200, Sunnanvind Fenderson wrote:
> > I know some people who're thinking of moving their proprietary
> > products to GPL instead, but they want to be able to link to some
> > jakarta jar-files. (obnoxiously ad-clause-licensed, iirc)
> > I suggested using the GPL with an exception clause (since the company
> > is sole copyright holder of the software at the moment).
> > b) Would they be allowed to link to real GPL stuff like the readline
> > library?
> > They wouldn't be able to include GPL-ed code in their GPL-ed (with
> > exception) code, right?
> Only the copyright holders of libreadline can grant a license exception
> to link their code against GPL-incompatible code.  This likewise applies
> to any other GPL code that they do not hold copyright for.


But program X, licensed under GPL-with-exception can link to both
jakarta and to GPL-ed stuff. Can it link to both at the same time? No?

> > This being written in java complicates things even more. They link to
> > Suns standard java libraries, also.
> Mmm, AFAIK the Java ABI is fairly well standardized; if the features
> they need are also available from a GPL-compatible jre implementation,
> then this should be technically indistinguishable from linking against
> Sun's Java classes.

Okay. I think they'll look into this, then.

> If their code can't be built against the free Java class
> implementations, then it's definitely not possible for anyone to provide
> binaries referencing other GPL code.  However, this is probably
> secondary to the use of the GPL-incompatible Jakarta code.
> Of course, they can allow others to do anything they want to allow with
> /their/ software (including things not normally permitted under the GPL
> if they grant a license exception).
> ISTR that someone was working on a BSD-licensed reimplementation of
> libreadline, btw.

Yes, libeditline. But readline was only one of the examples. We'd
really like this company to become a free software company, and one of
the many selling points is that they would get access to a huge
codebase of copylefted code.

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