Bacula and OpenSSL
Bacula is nearing the end of a development cycle and the next version will be
released in a matter of weeks, so I would like to revisit the problem that
recently came up with the Bacula license. My purpose is not to debate the
issues but rather come up with a plan forward for Bacula so that all
distributions can use it with OpenSSL or any other Open Source code without
problems. Please excuse me if I provide you with a bit of my reasoning and
thoughts -- the idea is to help you target responses so I can end up with an
Bacula originally used the GPL v2 license, but I added some modifications to
it -- most if not all are (IMO) now contained in the GPL v3. However, some
of my original modifications created objections with Debian, so I removed
them. In addition, Debian has an issue with distributing Bacula linked with
OpenSSL and as a consequence, I added a modification to the GPL permitting
Debian to link Bacula with OpenSSL.
In more recent discussions with you, it seems that some of my modifications to
the GPL (particularly the "Debian" clause) created a legal problem with
Fedora and hence Red Hat because the GPL v2 is incompatible with the OpenSSL
license and because there are about 10-20 files in the Bacula source that are
copyrighted by third-parties under the GPL, so by modifying my license, I was
or could have been technically violating their licenses.
Most recently, I removed all modifications I had made to the GPL so the Bacula
code written by myself and Bacula contributors is copyrighted under GPL v2.
Where we are:
As the Bacula source code currently stands, I expect that since it is pure GPL
that it is acceptable as is to most distros. However, my understanding is
that Debian will not be able to build the next version with OpenSSL due to
their interpretation of the GPL. I find this a pity -- particularly because
Debian was the first distro to officially package Bacula, and because I am
also moving my systems over time to a Debian base.
What I would like:
I would like Bacula to be able to be freely used by all distros without
licensing problems with any Open Source software including OpenSSL.
How do we get there?
It seems to me that there are a number of alternatives:
1. Convert Bacula to use gnutls. One Debian user is working on this, but it
is not a small nor an easy project. And though it is something I consider
very worthwhile for Bacula to work with gnutls, it doesn't resolve the
problem of using Bacula with OpenSSL.
2. You recently mentioned to me that GPL v3 may be a solution. Like Linus, I
don't see any reason to switch to GPL v3, but if using GPL v3 makes Bacula
compatible with OpenSSL AND all distros are happy with that, it seems to me
to be an easy solution. I know that GPL v3 is compatible with the Apache
license, but can you confirm whether or not it is compatible with whatever
OpenSSL uses? I would also appreciate having Debian's legal view on this
3. Barring item 2, it seems to me that the only solution is to eliminate all
third party software from Bacula and change the license to less restrictive
one that permits Bacula being linked with any Open Source software.
Does anyone see any other solutions that I am missing?
If at all possible, I would like to get at least the direction on how to
resolve this defined within the next several weeks. If alternative 2 is
viable, it is something that I can probably do for release 2.2.0.