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Open CASCADE license: GPL-incompatibility?

Hi everyone!

The Open CASCADE Technology Public License (OCTPL) was discussed a
while ago:
The conclusion was that the license itself was acceptable, while its
preamble described non-free restrictions that, however, do not seem to
be actually present in the license text:

Please note that the current version (6.3) of the OCTPL may be read at
and is practically identical to versions 6.2 and 6.1 (only cosmetic
changes were applied).

Anyway, regardless of how (non-freely) upstream interpret the license,
Open CASCADE was accepted in Debian main:

Now, the problem is: is the OCTPL compatible with GPLv2?
Since the OCTPL implements a copyleft mechanism and has no explicit
GPL-compatibility clause, I would say it's GPL-incompatible.

Indeed the ElmerGUI (which is under the GPLv2) has an exception to
permit linking with Open CASCADE:

On the other hand, there are other GPL'ed works that link with Open
CASCADE without any exception to allow that:

  a) FreeCAD, which is itself under the LGPLv2 or later, but includes
some files under the GPLv2 and, above all, links with Coin3D (which is
under the GPLv2, without exceptions)

  b) Gmsh, which is itself under the GPLv2, with no exceptions

  c) possibly other ones...

I think that serious bugs should be filed against freecad and gmsh.

Now, the half-good news.
It seems that there's some possibility that Open CASCADE could be
re-licensed under the terms of the LGPLv2.1:
I got in touch with upstream (Open CASCADE S.A.S.) via their web
contact form:
and got a somewhat encouraging reply.
This happened back on April 2009, though; no more news since then...

I encourage anyone interested in solving this mess to use that contact
form, in order to show that many people are hoping for this move.
Please try and persuade upstream to re-license under the LGPLv2.1 to
solve license compatibility headaches and enhance acceptance of Open
CASCADE by major GNU/Linux distributions!

 New location for my website! Update your bookmarks!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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