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Re: Courier package: GPL vs OpenSSL license

On Wed, Oct 16, 2002 at 01:41:22AM +0200, Stefan Hornburg wrote:
> I'm maintainer of the Courier packages. The upstream source
> is copylefted by GPL. Parts of it link against OpenSSL.
> I saw some messages that stated these licenses are incompatible. 

> However, I read in the Open-SSL FAQ: 


> I asked the upstream author and he told me that he has certainly no
> problem with linking Courier against OpenSSL. He won't make the
> mentioned exemption, because he thinks it is simply not necessary. 

> Can you please tell me if it'll cause problem to integrate the SSL
> parts into the Courier packages ? 

It will cause problems.  The short explanation is that Debian does not
believe it can take advantage of the GPL "operating system" exemption
in connection with software that we are making *part* of our operating
system.  If you need further explanation, I would advise you to consult
the archive for this mailing list; the discussions of OpenSSL here are
lengthy, and not at all hard to find. :)

The maintainers of the OpenSSL FAQ are either unaware of Debian's
precise circumstances, or have chosen to reject our interpretation of
the GPL license.  Either way, they don't set policy for Debian, and it
is not *their* license that we would be in violation of.  GPL software
linked against OpenSSL is not allowed in the main archive without either
a license exemption from the upstream author of the GPL package, a
change in the license of OpenSSL itself, or a clear legal precedent
sustaining the OpenSSL FAQ's opinion on this point.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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