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Re: freeness and compatibility of CeCILL-C licence

On Thu, 2017-03-23 at 11:04 +0000, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Drew Parsons writes ("Re: freeness and compatibility of CeCILL-C
> licence"):
> > If I'm reading that right, we can link it from BSD and LGPL
> > libraries.
> > Currently MUMPS is in Debian used by
> ...
> > code-aster GPL2
> This is a problem then.
> Is there any possibility of CeCILL being persuaded to add a GPL
> compatibility exception ?  The licence already has an upgrade clause

In a sense it's a problem that code_aster needs to push to get fixed.
code_aster also comes from France, they could sort it out face to face.

My guess is they're both using the licences perfunctorily, with MUMPS
contractually obliged by their workplace to use a CeCILL. Scientific
programmers (at least, the kind that build free software) tend to roll
with the general spirit of free software without particular care for
the legal subtleties. 

That is, as far as the authors are concerned, there is no violation
(this is my interpretation or guess of what they're thinking). If the
other library you're using is in a separate file and only accessed at
runtime, then why should its free licence affect the free licence of
your program?  It's absurd to think that linking to libraries matters
to your licence (assuming their licence doesn't actually forbid
linking, in which case it wouldn't particularly be a free licence).

Of course the question of linking is one of the reasons for changing
GPL2 to GPL3.  Maybe we need some billionaire friend of free software
to send the matter to court, fund both sides of the argument and have
it settled once and for all. 

In any case, I've asked the MUMPS developers to read this thread and
let us know what they think.


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