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From "Sam Ruby" <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: GPL licensing question ...
Date Sun, 27 Jul 2008 02:56:31 GMT
On Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Ralph Goers <Ralph.Goers@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> Henri Yandell wrote:
>> On Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 1:49 AM, Ralph Goers <Ralph.Goers@dslextreme.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Henri Yandell wrote:
>>>> So, wrt my reply:
>>>> 1) We judge if that bridging/plugin API is sufficient (ie: no binding
>>>> occurs).
>>>> 2) We decide if we're happy to host the bridge to the GPL work, which
>>>> we decide if we want to release under AL 2.0 or GPL.
>>> This makes no sense to me.  Forget for a moment that many think the FSF's
>>> position on derivative works is total nonsense. Going by their position
>>> the
>>> bridge code must be licensed under the GPL and can't be Apache licensed
>>> since it is a derivative work of the project being bridged.
>> Here's my reasoning here.
>> If I take a GPL project, and add a new feature by inlining a piece of
>> existing Apache code, I don't magically affect the original licensing
>> of that existing Apache code, only the fact that it is now in or with
>> a larger piece of GPL'd work. Similarly, we should be able to consider
>> any changes we make as AL 2.0, or any new code as AL 2.0 in a bridge
>> library and then consider GPL as a larger licensing affecting it when
>> that new code is used. Or we dual license it under GPL/AL 2.0. Or BSD
>> if we decide we're concerned about the GPLv2 compatibility bit and
>> we're talking GPLv2.
> My understanding is the FSF's position is that you can take something under
> the Apache license and use it from a GPL'd work with no problems (at least
> with GPL3) but the whole work will be under the GPL. OTOH, if you take
> something under the Apache license and provide some kind of glue to the
> GPL'd work, then the GPL "infects" the Apache licensed work because it is a
> derivative work and requires the distribution as a whole to be GPL'd. The
> code under the Apache license remains only under the Apache license.
> However, if the Apache licensed code can't easily be separated from the
> GPL'd code then it might as well be under the GPL.
> As you referred to in your response, this is my pessimistic view. My
> optimistic view is that they are out of their minds and that no court would
> ever agree with them that simply using GPL'd code mandates that the work as
> a whole be under the GPL, especially where such use is a small part of the
> work as a whole.

Both the GPL and FSF are clear on this matter: simple 'use' of GPL
software does not require modifications to programs (even to the
original GPL software itself!) to be released in any form.


- Sam Ruby

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