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Request for help in checking GPL-compatibility

Dear people,

Please tell me gently if I am in the wrong place to ask this question.

I would like to know whether the Swiss Ephemeris Public Licence which can be found at:


is GPL-compatible or not. That is, can I write a program based on this library and GPL it? As I read it, it is GPL-compatible. But for verification I asked the FSF people to check it, and though they did not give an official approval/disapproval, they said they "thought" it would not be compatible because it is based on the QPL. Of course this reply was from a volunteer and not from any authority at FSF.

I pointed out to them that the SEPL does not have the "modifications to be redistributed as patches only" restriction which is the basic problem with the QPL, but after that I did not get any reply from them at all.

I would really like to use this library (Swiss Ephemeris) but I have to GPL my program since I use Qt OSS edition. I asked the people who wrote and hence own the library whether I can GPL a program based on their library but they said no "because it would allow commercial use of the library which is not permitted by the SEPL". Again I feel they have confused commercial software and proprietary software.

So I request and hope that the good people here help me reach a decision - whether the SEPL is GPL-compatible or not. If it is not, please tell me what is the problem.

Also when a licence is GPL-compatible it is also automatically DFSG-compatible, right?


Shriramana Sharma.

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