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Re: licensing confusion

On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 10:08:11AM -0800, Don Armstrong scribbled:
> > 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). 
> Mozilla is (for the most part) dual licensed under the (M|N)PL and
> (L|)GPL.
Please see my other mail where I have a few more doubts regarding precisely
the case of mozilla.

> Apache itself doesn't contain any GPL licensed code, and as far as I
> am aware, isn't a derivative work of any GPL licensed code.
> PHP (to my knowledge) follows along much the same lines as Apache.
Yes, that's correct. But my doubts arise from linking such software (with
GPL-incompatible license, like the PHP's one) with GPL-compatible software
(also look in the other mail, please)

> Before trotting out examples of incompatibilities (especially ones
> that "debian mixes [...] in many projects it distributes"), you need
> to walk through why you believe the incompatibility to exist in the
> first place. In cases where we discover code that is a derivative work
> of a GPLed work that cannot be re-distributed under the GPL, we
> scrutinize them very carefully, and often request specific exemptions
> from the author of the derivative work so that we can legally
> distribute the resultant work.
Oh, my mail was caused only by what I read on gnu.org which listed several
licenses as incompatible with GPL - that just rang a bell, I saw MPL/NPL/PHP
being not compatible and that's why I asked. It was caused by curiosity more
than by the will to point any specific code out.

> > 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 GPL/LGPL? Does one have to obtain some kind of
> > exemption from any of the "sides"?
> You (in general) can't incorporate code which is under a license that
> is incompatible with the GPL to create a derivative work under the GPL
> unless you yourself are the copyright holder of both works in
> question.
OK, so by that token - no MPL/NPL code in Mozilla should ever use any GPL
code, am I right in assuming that? Don't get me wrong, I'm just trying to
walk the maze without breaking my hands and legs. Note, that I assume that
what's written in the mozilla (debian) copyright file can be understood
verbatim - that _some_ files in it are licensed solely under MPL/NPL (while
others are dual-licensed etc. etc.). Then those single-license files would
affect the whole binary, that's how I understand it.

> The general method is to choose licenses carefully so that they are
> GPL compatible if you ever want to incorporate them into a GPLed work,
> or dual license the work so that you can incorporate them.
> In the end, it really depends on what your goals are for the license
> and for the work. If you have a concrete example of what you want to
> do, we may be able to provide some ideas on what you might want to
> consider.
OK, the thing at stake is the use of OpenSSL or Cryptlib[1] in the
Caudium[2] project. Looking at [2], I see clauses which make cryptlib not
compatible with clauses #5 and #6 of the DFSG. The license is a BSD one,
that's clear, but the terms of use and usage conditions seem to restrict the
use to non-commercial or low-cost projects. That's, IMHO, against the
abovementioned clauses. Am I right in assuming that? Oh, and we cannot
relicense the Caudium code, as we aren't the original copyright holders of
the entire code. Also, I would like to know whether it's ok for me to issue
an ITP for Cryptlib.



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