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Re: Licensing requirements ???

On Thu, Oct 09, 2003 at 08:03:35PM -0500, Michael D Schleif wrote:

> > There are other things to watch out for, but you not modifying the
> > source of Debian packages, so it shouldn't matter.

> Basically, since we are _not_ modifying source to any software, I had
> always thought that this is a slam-dunk.  However, once I read that
> MySQL page, I have doubts.  Am I misinterpreting it?

Redistribution of GPLed software, or of works derived from GPLed
software, incurs certain obligations to also distribute the source code
to those works.  You should consult legal counsel for identifying the
exact scope of those obligations for your particular instance.

You should also consult legal counsel to determine which original code
within your product is a derivative work of the GPLed code you
distribute.  For Debian's purposes, we conservatively interpret this to
at least apply to any application written in C that links against a GPL
library.  This is not a universally held view, but it is also the FSF's
own stated interpretation of the license, and an acceptance of this
interpretation of the license is the most probable explanation for MySQL
AB's decision to change from LGPL to GPL licensing.

As Glenn pointed out, there is an LGPL fork of the MySQL client
libraries; available as libmysqlclient10 in Debian, it was forked from
the last known version of the MySQL code base that was released under
the LGPL, and therefore doesn't provide support for the newest MySQL
server protocols.  It also may go by the wayside before too long, since
the primary motivation for the fork was to support GPL-incompatible Free
Software, and MySQL AB has indicated some interest in continuing to
support such combinations in their new codebase (excluding only linkage
from proprietary applications).

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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