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Re: Bacula and OpenSSL

Kern Sibbald <kern@sibbald.com> writes:

> =====
> Exception to the GPL:
> Linking:
> Bacula may be linked and distributed with any libraries permitted
> under the GPL, or with any non-GPLed libraries, including OpenSSL,
> that are required for its proper functioning, providing the license
> and hence source code of those non-GPLed libraries comply with the
> Open Source Definition as defined by the Open Source Initiative
> (www.opensource.org).
> =======
> I think this is much clearer than my original license

I see several areas that are unclear.

"any libraries permitted under the GPL" — the GPL doesn't "permit
libraries", the GPL permits actions normally reserved under copyright
law. As for which license terms the GPL allows for distributed derived
works, that's "the terms of this license" i.e. the GPL itself.

"or with any non-GPLed libraries ... that are required for its proper
functioning" — anyone could modify the work so that it depends on some
library and then claim that library is "required for its proper
functioning", so this clause is effectively null.

"the Open Source Definition as defined by the Open Source Initiative"
— at what point in time? At the time this clause was written? At the
time I received the work? At any time someone reads this text?

It's far clearer to simply give the exact set of extra terms you
consider acceptable, rather than delegating it to a website subject to
change after you write this clause.

> avoids allowing someone to modify the license

All they need to do is convince the OSI to certify their license terms
(which is far from a guarantee the license terms are free), and then
those license terms are retroactively allowed under this clause.

> but is a bit broader than the OpenSSL exception listed above

I'd argue, based on the above, it's rather overbroad.

> but corresponds to what I believed the GPL permitted when I
> originally chose the license for releasing the code.

I don't see how you draw this conclusion. The GPL makes clear what
terms are permitted for derived works: "the terms of this license".

 \        "The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but |
  `\          because of those who look at it without doing anything." |
_o__)                                                 —Albert Einstein |
Ben Finney

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