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From Joe Orton <...@manyfish.co.uk>
Subject Re: gdbm licence issue
Date Tue, 24 Feb 2004 10:30:19 GMT
On Mon, Feb 23, 2004 at 08:10:33PM -0800, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:
> --On Monday, February 23, 2004 5:04 PM -0800 Greg Stein <gstein@lyra.org> 
> wrote:
> 
> >Same here, but would love to have my understanding corrected, if it is a
> >problem.
> 
> Well, if we believe the AL v2.0 is GPL-compatible, then this is a moot 
> point, I believe.  We're not distributing GDBM (which would be against ASF 
> policy), but our license *is* GPL-compatible (mainly because we say it is). 
> However, AIUI, note that when GDBM is linked in, *all* of httpd falls under 
> the GPL. *shrug*

Since apr_dbm_gdbm.c is a derivative work of GDBM, the GPL imposes
restrictions on redistribution of apr_dbm_gdbm.c (if not all of
apr-util): this is true regardless of whether or not GDBM is
redistributed alongside apr-util. GPL clause 2(b) is pretty clear:

    b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.

The only question in my mind is whether or not apr_dbm_gdbm.c is a
derivative work of GDBM.  I think the filename alone gives a pretty
strong clue: and unless we want to get Genuine Legal Advice to the
contrary, we must default to the presumption that it is a derivative
work.

Given that fact, it is:

1. undesirable to redistribute apr_dbm_gdbm.c since it imposes more
restrictive licensing conditions on the code, and more seriously:

2. a violation of the GDBM copyright to redistribute apr_dbm_gdbm.c
under the terms of the ALv2, since the FSF considers the ALv2 to impose
extra restrictions beyond that of the GPL.  (and it's the FSF's opinion
that counts)

joe

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