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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre



On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 15:26 -0400, Simo Sorce wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-06-30 at 18:38 +0000, Matthew Saltzman wrote:
> > 
> > My original point was simply that interoperability of GPL software and
> > software released under a number of other FOSS licenses is hindered by
> > the GPL's prohibition^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H lack of permission to
> > distribute combined works.  Unfortunately, an all-GPL world is a
> > utopian
> > dream; the real world is more complicated and more frustrating.
> 
> Sorry but this comment is either grossly imprecise and dictated by hurry
> in writing up[, or it underlines a gross misunderstanding of the GPL. In
> either case, as it is just false.
> 
> First, a copyleft license by nature, cannot be compatible with just any
> license, but only with licenses that follow certain rules, for obvious
> reasons. Trying to discuss this point is like trying to argue that
> gravity sucks and whine about it.

Any license, by nature, cannot be compatible with just any other license
(except for distribution in the public domain).  I don't know of another
license that prohibits linking to libraries based on the library license
terms.

On the other hand, the "My license is red hot; your license ain't
doodly-squat" attitude of some GPL defenders isn't terribly helpful
either.

> 
> Second, you should really differentiate between GPLv2 and GPLv3, as
> GPLv3 address, with many others, also the license compatibility problem,
> making GPLv3 more compatible with other copyleft licenses.

Some of them.  It doesn't help if it's not compatible with the license
of the software you need at that moment.

> 
> Third and not less important the first, the GPL (v2/3) does NOT prohibit
> distribution of combined works as long as all pieces use GPL compatible
> licenses.

That's what I meant.  Sorry if I wasn't clear.

> 
> Being GPL compatible is not difficult at all, in most cases modern
> licenses that are not GPL (at least v3) compatible, are not by choice,
> so you should really look at both sides of the equation, you cannot
> blame the GPL for lack of compatibility, compatibility is always a two
> sides story. That said I am not pointing fingers at anyone, as I believe
> everyone have the right to choose and draft the license for their own
> software they way they want.

Many licenses that are not compatible with GPLv3 are so because they
were written before GPLv3 existed.  The differences between GPLv3 and
CPL seems from what I've read to be due to relatively technical legal
points, such as the "choice of law" clause in the CPL (which predates
the GPLv3).

> 
> Finally, please let's keep this para-legal quasi-trolling off the
> fedora-*DEVEL* mailing list thanks.

I was happy to let the thread die back a couple weeks ago.

> 
> 
> Simo.
> 
-- 
                Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
http://www.math.clemson.edu/~mjs


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