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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Matthew Saltzman <mjs clemson edu> wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-06-19 at 12:59 -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> > On Jun 18, 2008, Matthew Saltzman <mjs clemson edu> wrote:
> > 
> > > Then can we at least agree that there are sometimes unfortunate
> > > consequences to the GPL's failure to permit one to share a work
> > > combining two pieces of *free* software because of relatively minor[1]
> > > license incompatibilities?

> > Yeah, it's unfortunate when this happens.  In general, authors who use
> > the GPL for its intended purpose (ensuring the 4 freedoms are
> > respected for all users) won't object to the combination of their
> > works with other works that respect users' freedoms, and will grant
> > additional permissions for the combinations in spite of the license
> > conflicts.

> > Of course, not everyone does that, and some people who would like to
> > create such combinations may even not realize that this possibility
> > exists, or think it's not worth the effort.

> Would not the world then be a better place if the GPL permitted such
> combinations to start with?  That would simplify this process enormously
> and help spread free software.

... into all sorts of non-free combinations. The GPL is as it is for a
purpose, else the BSD/MIT license (or just public domain) would be enough.

> > So, yeah, it's unfortunate, but I don't think it's really such a big
> > deal.  Nearly all Free Software *is* available under the GPL and
> > compatible licenses anyway.

> Maybe all the free software *you* use...

Most of what is out there, by all surveys I've seen.

> PHP, for example, is not under GPL.  When MySQL changed its free
> distribution from LGPL to GPL, that almost put an end to the php-mysql
> library.  The end result was MySQL's free software exception clause,
> which they added to the GPL to create their license.

Fixed. See?

> I work on a free software project (very widely known in my field) that
> is primarily CPL.  GPL compatibility is a problem for us.  We also need
> to interface to proprietary libraries.  I have little hope that I can
> get permission from all the contributors' employers to dual license.

No simple answers there. In any case, GPL /allows/ you to do certain
things, and you are getting this software because people feel confortable
distributing under GPL. At least it is interoperable in itself.

> Plenty of companies that would be willing to release free software are
> leery of releasing it as GPL


>                              and of using GPL software.

Now that is completely unwarranted.

>                                                          Whether their
> concerns are well founded or not, the compatibility issues are still
> there.

But they are way less than trying to combine stuff under the typical
assortment of privative licenses in any case... have you looked in detail
at that kind of mess?
Dr. Horst H. von Brand                   User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica                    Fono: +56 32 2654431
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