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Re: License implications of OpenSSL in a GPL v2 application

Scripsit Roy Hills <Roy.Hills@nta-monitor.com>

[program that links to OpenSSL wants to be GPL'ed]

> The previous debian-legal advice mentioned above says to add the
> following exception text to the GPL announcement in the source code:

> 1.  Should this be added to every source file,

It should be added in *all* copyright notices where you reference the
GPL. The exemption effect creates a new, more liberal, license that is
different from the GPL, and you want all your code in the program to
be covered by that rather than the original GPL.

> What about header files that may define prototypes for OpenSSL
> functions, for example the code snippet from ike-scan.h shown below?

If you assert copyright in those header files and reference the GPL in
that copyright assertion, you should add the exemption. It is slightly
controversial whether the copyright status of headers that define
prototypes influence the distribution of the final binary, but you'll
be on the safe side on either case if you add the exemption to all of
your GPL grants.

If you don't have copyright in the header file, you don't need to (and
can't, legally) add license exemption/

> 2.  The text above mentions "certain conditions as described in each
> individual source file".  Where should these conditions be mentioned?

If you want to put special conditions on your permission to link with
OpenSSL, just write them down somewhere and adjust the exemption text
to describe where "somewhere" is.

Ordinarily, however, you probably just want to give a blanket
permission to link with OpenSSL, without further strings attached.
In that case you of course do not need the "under certain
conditions ..." clause; just omit it.

Henning Makholm         "We cannot time-travel in this dimension. Everything
                     is arranged differently, and they use different plugs."

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