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Re: Bacula and OpenSSL

On Monday 16 July 2007 10:57, Shane M. Coughlan wrote:
> Hi Kern
> Kern Sibbald wrote:
> > On Saturday 14 July 2007 11:03, Simon Josefsson wrote:
> >> That is incorrect.  The FSF has granted OpenSSL license exceptions to
> >> some software that links to OpenSSL.  For example, GNU wget.
> >
> > Interesting.  Shane would you comment on this?
> As Simon said, in certain special circumstances selected GNU tools
> related to networking have been granted exceptions.  I suggest that such
> a grant is not likely in the case of the general purpose code included
> with Bacula.
> However, please bear in mind that I don't speak for FSF :)

Yes, and in addition, after Josselin's email, I did a bit of research, and for 
at least one of the files that we use (fnmatch.c), the FSF license was 
changed from GPL to LGPL sometime in 2004 the best I can tell.  
Unfortunately, we are still using the old GPL'ed version rather than the 
newer LGPL'ed version.

While it would be best to convert to the newer version, it is not so easy as 
the we have made some modifications to the old one to support Win32 systems 
(stupid difference of path separators, ...).  

Question: for old GPL'ed versions of fnmatch.c and fnmatch.h that we are using 
copyrighted in 1997 by FSF, would it be possible to modify them to use the 
LGPL as you are currently doing?

That would give me a bit of breathing room (i.e. no recoding for the moment).  
Long term, I am probably going to use your newer LGPLed version since it 
supports UTF-8, but that will take some modifications and lots of testing.

> > In addition, there are two files copyrighted by Anders Carlsson, two by 
> > Microsystems in the tray-monitor directory,  and a number of files by AT&T
> > all in the win32 subdirectories.
> All of the authors of third-party code would need to be contacted for a
> linking exception, though from your last email it sounds like you have
> already removed a substantial amount of the third-party code.

Yes, all the authors would have to be contacted, but given they involve 
institutions such as FSF and ATT and Sun, I don't plan to go that route, it 
has little chance of succeeding.  

For files like fnmatch.c where FSF has already changed the license, I think it 
makes sense to ask for a change to the old code. For all the rest, I will 
work on replacing the files and/or rewriting them myself.  It is a terrible 
waste of time, but it is not a monster project, and the only hard part is the 
testing that will be necessary to validate the changes ...

> I have some availability this week.  I could do a physical meeting or a
> phone call during Wednesday and Thursday afternoon if you think it would
> be useful. :)

I appreciate your offer, and I think that meeting at some point will be 
important, especially if FSF is willing to put the older fnmatch.c/h that we 
use under the LGPL license that is being used by the current version.

However, one important issue to work through is Josselin's claim that due to 
the wording in GPL v3, I could switch to it, and it would be OK to link 
OpenSSL in as shared objects.

If that is the case, it would provide a short term solution to this problem so 
that Debian can continue to release Bacula with OpenSSL enabled in the next 

Switching to GPL v3 is something I could do before the next release (in a week 
or two), but I would do it only if I can get FSFE and Debian to confirm that 
it will resolve the OpenSSL linking problem -- for the moment, I don't have 
any "official" confirmation from either of you.

Longer term, I am definitely removing all 3rd party copyrighted code that is 
GPL'ed, and unless GPL v3 turns out to be the magic bullet and does not 
encomber me with additional constraints, I'll either add back the OpenSSL 
modification I previously added for Debian, or switch to a less restrictive 
Open Source License such as Sun's. I'm still looking at other licenses and 
switching will require a good deal of thought  ...

Before swtiching to any other license, should that be the case, and possibly 
before adding any license modifications, Shane and I will very likely need to 



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