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Re: licensing confusion

Marek Habersack wrote:

Hey all,

 I know it belongs in debian-legal, but I'm not inclined enough to join
yet another mailing list which I will read few and far between, so I will
take the liberty to ask my question here.
You are right, your questions are better asked in debian-legal, with a request: please guys, reply cc'ing to grendel@debian.org, he is not in the list. Putting that aside,

 It's simple - how is it possible that most licenses used by free
software are incompatible [1] with GPL and yet debian mixes them in many projects
it distributes (like mozilla, php, apache to name the most prominent ones).
The GPL-compatibitily problem only arises in the case you *link* something with something else. _Any_ DFSG-free license permits you to: bundle and distribute differently licensed things together, _as long as_ they are not derived works. GPL further defines linkage as deriving for the purpose of licensing.

What are the rules to freely (as in freedom) use the other licenses which
are incompatible with GPL and to remain compatible with GPL without being
forced to use it in your own projects which you don't want to license under

My rules of thumb are:
1. in doubt, GPL it.
2. if it is a library and I want proprietary software to use it, I use LGPL or the 2-clause BSD.
3. _do not_ invent a new license.
4. in the special cases of perl, python, ruby? stuff, distribute "under the same terms as XXX itself".

Does one have to obtain some kind of exemption from any of the "sides"?

yes you are :-)



[]s, HTH,

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