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Re: License issues


I'm assuming you left out the list in accident and won't mind that I
quote you a little:

On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 10:22 PM, Sergei Golubchik <serg@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Dec 29, Henrik Ingo wrote:
>> (I'm pretty sure readline developers didn't quite realize what they
>> were doing here. Their original goal with their choice of license was
>> to create an advantage for GPL licensed apps, now they are doing
>> exactly the opposite.)
> I think it was intentional.
> readline is a gnu project, hosted on gnu.org.
> It looks like an FSF policy to use GPLv3. Other gnu software than I've
> checked is also on GPLv3 (in particular, libbfd - that is used by
> binutils, gdb, etc - so it's kind of fundamental for development chain).

Yes, I'm aware of this. However, most FSF *libraries* are licensed
LGPL. Only readline and a few others (apparently then libbfd, if you
say so) are GPL. The purpose of this is to make those libraries
exclusively available to GPL software, or also compatible FOSS
software. (eg. a BSD licensed application could use a GPL licensed
library as long as source code of the app is in fact made available.)

> I might be wrong, but I think using GPLv3 for all (or most) GNU
> projects, including essencial libraries, is quite intentional.

Well, it is intentional for FSF in the sense that it is policy. For
the libraries that use LGPL it is also quite fine to force everyone to
use them under LGPLv3, as it won't have similar bad effects on the
apps that use those libraries. However, in the case of readline and
other libraries that are GPL, this has the effect of hurting projects
that are GPLv2 only, while it in fact improves the situation for
non-copyleft projects such as those under Apache license. (Apache
license is considered by FSF to be incompatible with GPLv2 but
compatible with GPLv3.) I very much doubt that this particular
consequence was intentional.

To support GPL licensed software, the FSF should in this case have
licensed readline as both GPLv2 and GPLv3.


+358-40-8211286 skype: henrik.ingo irc: hingo

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