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From Joe Orton <...@manyfish.co.uk>
Subject Re: gdbm licence issue
Date Tue, 24 Feb 2004 19:54:17 GMT
On Tue, Feb 24, 2004 at 08:46:53AM -0800, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:
> --On Tuesday, February 24, 2004 10:30 AM +0000 Joe Orton 
> <joe@manyfish.co.uk> wrote:
> >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)
> I'm not sure how you view apr_dbm_gdbm.c as a derivative work of GDBM.  Is 
> it the fact that it calls some C functions qualifies as a derivative work?  

Well the more I think about it the more clear-cut it gets :)
apr_dbm_gdbm.c is based on GDBM: it is derived from the GDBM source code
(gdbm.h), it will not compile without GDBM, it does not exist except to
be used with GDBM.  It is no mere coincidence that the symbols match up,
and that when you compile the file it actually does something useful.

I'm a bit surprised this is a contentious issue: this is how the GPL is
and always has been interpreted.  It is illegal to redistribute modules
for the Linux kernel except under the terms of the GPL because such
modules are derived works of the Linux kernel by virtue of using its
interfaces.  This is no different.

> Yes, the fact of apr-util *linking* to GDBM causes the entire work to be 
> GPLd (as it is derived from GDBM), but we don't distribute it that way yet 
> doing so is not a violation of the AL v2.0.  Please read:
> <http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html>

I know it's the ASF position that the GPL is compatible with the AL v2,
I don't want to get into that argument.  The issue is that the FSF,
which is both the copyright holder of GDBM and author of the GPL,
apparently considers the two licenses to be incompatible.

Is the responsible thing for us to do to blithely ignore the opinion of
the copyright holder? I can't imagine so.



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