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Re: Linking clause deleted from GNAT GPL

Scripsit Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org>

> The only time I've actually seen an additional-permission clause that said
> "you may remove this clause" to explicitly remain GPL-compatible was ones
> drafted on this list, for linking to OpenSSL.  I agree that #1 is almost
> certainly what was intended, but I don't know how to arrive from that from
> the exception.

My general opionion on the matter would be that the two grants are
separate unless they explicitly indicate that they hang together.

The actual copyright notice in one of the files in the current Debian
source package (ada/3asoccon.ads, selected more or less at random)
--              Copyright (C) 2001 Ada Core Technologies, Inc.              --
--                                                                          --
-- GNAT is free software;  you can  redistribute it  and/or modify it under --
-- terms of the  GNU General Public License as published  by the Free Soft- --
-- ware  Foundation;  either version 2,  or (at your option) any later ver- --
-- sion.  GNAT is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITH- --
-- OUT ANY WARRANTY;  without even the  implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY --
-- or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License --
-- for  more details.  You should have  received  a copy of the GNU General --
-- Public License  distributed with GNAT;  see file COPYING.  If not, write --
-- to  the Free Software Foundation,  59 Temple Place - Suite 330,  Boston, --
-- MA 02111-1307, USA.                                                      --
--                                                                          --
-- As a special exception,  if other files  instantiate  generics from this --
-- unit, or you link  this unit with other files  to produce an executable, --
-- this  unit  does not  by itself cause  the resulting  executable  to  be --
-- covered  by the  GNU  General  Public  License.  This exception does not --
-- however invalidate  any other reasons why  the executable file  might be --
-- covered by the  GNU Public License.                                      --

Note that the GPL grant explicitly specifies "as published by the Free
Software Foundation" without later qualifying this. To me, that would
indicate that the two grants are separate.

In this particular case Ada Core are themselves that copyright holder
(and so the point is moot for those files; the copyright holder can do
anything), but the majority of the source files have the FSF listed as
copyright holder in their copyright blurbs.

The source package also contains files cribbed from GCC, explicitly
licensed under GPL v. 2 alone. If my case (2) was true, the entire
thing would have been undistributable in the first place.

> Since the copyright holder in this case is the FSF, it's probably best to
> just ask them.

FSF is the copyright holder for parts of Gnat, including files that
have this notice. But they are not the only copyright holder.

Henning Makholm                         "PROV EN FORFRISKNING FRISKLAIL DEM"

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