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Re: Is SystemC license compatible with the GPL ?

Matthieu Moy wrote:

> [ I know this is out topic here, but I've already sent this mail twice
>   to  gnu@gnu.org, twice  to  the discussion  list  of the  fsfeurope,
>   another time  to the SystemC mailing  list, and didn't  get a single
>   answer :-( ]
> Hi,
> I've developped a  piece of software using GCC as  a C++ front-end and
> the SystemC library.
> The  SystemC  license can  be  found  from  www.systemc.org (And  I've
> temporarily put a copy here:
> http://www-verimag.imag.fr/~moy/vrac/License.pdf )

Loooong license.  Interestingly, most of it would make a very well designed
(if verbose) permissive free software license.  Unfortunately, a few
clauses are definitely not free, and some others are questionable.  (Yes,
I know you didn't ask, but I'm analyzing it for freeness anyway.)

2.5 contains a weird line:
"Recipient agrees that Recipient shall not remove or alter any proprietary
notices contained in..."

What the *heck* is a "proprietary notice"?

2.6b is insanely non-free, requiring that the "Recipient" help OSCI register
its trademarks.  (?!?)  I wouldn't use the program just due to that.

In 13, the choice of venue clause is unreasonable, and presumably non-free.  
Waiving your right to a jury trial is also non-free, I believe.

They seem to feel the need to put the specifications of how to contribute
into the license.  This confuses matters, but is probably free.

The definition of "Source Code" may make the license unusable for images,
sound files, etc., which is obnoxious.  And perhaps non-free, perhaps not.

The license is GPL-incompatible, because it only allows source code
distribution under the same license.

Anyway, to answer *your* compatibility question, we would need more
information about exactly how this works; the GPL has a system library
exception, the LGPL has its linking exception, and GCC has its own special

If you can get the SystemC creators to agree to a GPL dual-license, that
would probably be better.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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