[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: openssl vs. GPL question

On 6/10/05, Anthony DeRobertis <anthony@derobert.net> wrote:
> Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> > You might also observe the comments at
> > http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=6924 and
> > http://bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=8508 regarding MySQL's retreat, first
> > from providing OpenSSL-enabled binaries, and then from referencing
> > OpenSSL in the server source code.  Any bets on whether there was a
> > quid pro quo involved when Eben Moglen submitted an affidavit in
> > Progress Software v. MySQL?
> If you wish to allege underhanded dealings, please bring some evidence.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that MySQL's executives
appear to have been availing themselves of the services of the GPL
Compliance Lab, and have probably received a few letters on Columbia
University letterhead.

I think the FSF's entire handling of OpenSSL is underhanded.  For them
to make the false claim that API usage makes for a derivative work
when it suits them, and then to accept the copying of the OpenSSL API
into the GPL'ed yaSSL and the GPL'ed shim to GNU TLS, and then
recommend these alternatives over OpenSSL to all GPL licensors, is
beyond hypocritical.

As regards MySQL, here are some comments by one Tim Smith on bug 6924:

We would like to be able to release binaries with SSL support, and are
investigating different options for that.  I'm told that building with yassl is
possible right now, so this may be an option for you, depending on how you're
using MySQL, etc.


It's due to unclear license issues.  Basically, we'd be OK distributing
OpenSSL-enabled binaries, but anyone who redistributed them would probably be
violating the license.  Our licence doesn't have a clear exclusion that handles

I'm doing a bit of parroting here, since I'm not directly involved with making
these decisions.  I can tell you for sure that it's due to legal, not technical,

Who do you suppose would be telling MySQL that they don't have the
ability to alter the license on their own software to accommodate
their own decision to use OpenSSL?

- Michael

Reply to: