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Re: licensing confusion

On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 02:45:12PM -0300, Humberto Massa scribbled:
Do Cc: me on the replies, thank you

> > 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* 
Like in the case of mozilla linking against libfreetype6?

> 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.
So that would make mozilla in conflict with GPL since some files in mozilla
are NPL, some MPL and some GPL. That makes _parts_ of mozille code
non-compatible with freetype6 which is distributed under GPL/FTL with FTL
being incompatible with GPL. So, what in this case?

> >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.
I'd rather public-domain it, really... precisely to avoid having to wonder
whether it is compatible with openssl, apache, php, nspr/nss and whatever

> 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.
I'm not going to, just trying to understand why make your life harder by
using GPL (which may lead to having to hire a lawyer somewhere in future to
defend yourself)

> 4. in the special cases of perl, python, ruby? stuff, distribute "under 
> the same terms as XXX itself".
Which _may_ make it incompatible with GPL. For instance, if a hypotetical
PHP module (distributed under the PHP license which is incompatible with GPL
- thus it breaks the GPL terms) links against libreadline, then it breaks
the GPL. This is just insane.

> >Does one have to obtain some kind of exemption from any of the "sides"?
> > 
> >
> sides?
Yes, the OpenSSL folks are one side and the FSF folks the other, for
instance. To use OpenSSL in a GPL-ed project (like Caudium, for instance) I
have to get an exemption from OpenSSL to use it with a GPL-ed project.

> >confused,
> > 
> >
> yes you are :-)
yes, because I'm starting to spend more time resolving legal issues which
don't interest me at all than developing code. This is just sick.


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