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Re: Bug#227159: ocaml: Worse, the QPL is not DFSG-free

On Fri, Jul 16, 2004 at 07:40:08PM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 15, 2004 at 07:44:19AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > problems you mention. And also a proposal on how to make the licence
> > non-free, instead of the "please switch to the GPL" which is sure to be
> > received with laugthers or even some anger when i go upstream with it.
> The original users of the license, TrollTech, have dual-licensed KDE under
> the GPL; asking other users of the QPL to follow their lead seems completely

The original users of the licence had problems with the GPL
compatibility of the QPL, since Qt was linked with KDE which is GPL.

the part of ocaml which is QPLed is the compiler suite. The runtime
libraries which is linked with the code is LGPL, which is QPL
compatible, plus some exception that RMS suggested us. I participated to
that discussion back then, and see the caml-list mailing list archive if
you are interested. So, this is _NOT_ a reasonable analogy. And i would
like that you stop using it, since it is taking me an others for idiots.

> reasonable.  We've asked many software authors to do similar things in the
> past, with very frequent success, and less laughter and anger than you
> seem to think.

Yes, but it is by no means reason enough to declare the QPL non-free.

> Why do you think such a suggestion would be ridiculed in this case?  I

Because, in my case at least, the upstream authors chose the QPL after
long discutions, because they are interested in their properties. The
ocaml upstream authors are a research team in the french inria, which is
a state institute, so the academic world and not some evil corporation
or something. They want to be able to provide ocaml under other licence
to users who request it in order to get more founding to be able to hire
more developers, since after all they are but a bunch of people, and can
not do everything. Also they are mostly interested in a licence which
doesn't cause them problems, and legal issues are more a trouble to
them, as it is too me, than some kind of recreation, as it is for most
of you here. In this light and knowing the history of the licence
change of ocaml, from the original non-free licence (source only patch
only distribution of modifications possible), i can assure you that they
will find it ridicoulous at best, and be irritated or angry at worst to
a "Use the GPL" kind of solution.

Also, one of the clauses you have problems with, the "court of venue",
if waived, might limit their possibilities to defend against people not
respecting the licence, and since one of their problematic is for big
corporation including their changes in java or other such bytecode
running languages (think C# and a corporation known for stealing code),
this may be quite reasonable.

> think many upstream software authors are much more rational and reasonable
> than you're giving them credit for.

Yes, when you provide reasonable reasons. And yes, QPL for libraries is
not a good thing, since it is GPL incompatible, but seriously, the
arguments i have seen here are less than convincing, and i doubt
strongly to be able to convince anyone based on their strength.

You have to be more serious before you declare a licence non-free on
wishfull thinking like you are doing.

And as said, i am badly disposed to this anyway, since i discovered this
thread through a third party, and debian-legal didn't even bother to
inform the packagers of QPLed code of this discussion.


Sven Luther

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