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Re: Bacula and OpenSSL

On Thursday 12 July 2007 18:06, Gervase Markham wrote:
> Kern Sibbald wrote:
> > 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 
> > 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 
> > question.
> I don't believe that Debian provides "legal views"...

Perhaps it was a bad choice of words.  Debian has in the past provided me with 
their take on my license as it applies to their distribution, which is what 
interests me.

> My personal view is that GPLv3 is not compatible with the OpenSSL license.

That has been confirmed by FSFE (Shane).

> The problematic part of the OpenSSL license is the "BSD advertising clause":
>   * 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this
>   *    software must display the following acknowledgment:
>   *    "This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
>   *    for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit. (http://www.openssl.org/)"
> (From http://www.openssl.org/source/license.html)

I personally see no particular issue with the advertising clause from two 
points of view:
- if he really wants such an acknowledgement, why not. For me, it doesn't 
violate any of my fundamental rights.  If one mentions Windows, in any 
documentation whatsoever, one is required to mention that it is a trademark 
of Microsoft -- the same applies to a lot of other things as well, including 
the name Bacula :-)
- Bacula does no advertisment (we have a users manual, but that is not 
advertisement, IMO), so this clause would have no effect anyway.

> The only way this might be compatible with GPLv3 is if this clause was 
> permitted by one of the clauses in GPLv3 section 7, "Additional Terms". 
> The only one under which it might fit is clause b):
>    Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, for material you
>    add to a covered work, you may (if authorized by the copyright holders
>    of that material) supplement the terms of this License with terms:
>    ...
>        * b) Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices
>    or author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal
>    Notices displayed by works containing it;
> (From http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html)
> However, this only permits requiring preservation of notices "in the 
> material". An advertisement mentioning OpenSSL is not part of OpenSSL, 
> and so this clause does not make point 3. of the OpenSSL license 
> GPLv3-compatible.
> > 3. Barring item 2, it seems to me that the only solution is to eliminate 
> > third party software from Bacula and change the license to less 
> > one that permits Bacula being linked with any Open Source software.
> This seems the correct way forward in the long term.

Yes, that is the conculsion I have come to as well.  Thanks.

It seems a real pity to me that the GPL is so restrictive -- it should make my 
life as a programmer easier, but it has in fact made it harder.

Best regards,


> Gerv

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