License in the Mac installer
Manuel M T Chakravarty
chak at cse.unsw.edu.au
Tue Feb 12 23:50:11 EST 2008
> Manuel M T Chakravarty wrote:
>> By offering GHC under BSD3, we do allow people to distribute
>> it under the GPL and hence fullfil our obligations under the GPL
>> we incurred by linking - in whatever way - against readline). Does
>> clarify the point?
> I believe that this claim is not at all correct. It's also not an
> abstract point: there has in the past been hassle between open source
> projects over exactly this sort of question. Witness the kerfuffle
> between Linux and OpenBSD developers over drivers a few months ago.
> I think it would be best if we ask the Software Freedom Law Center for
> guidance on this. They're incredibly thoughtful, accommodating
> they're *lawyers*, which we are not; and their expertise lies in
> resolving exactly these kinds of matters.
> I will put this question to one of the attorneys at the SFLC. I'm
> they'll be happy to give an answer that will steer you and us clear of
> the rocks and shoals of legal liability.
By all means get legal advice.
However, I am curious, what exactly is it in my reasoning that you do
not agree with? Specifically, which of the following:
* Whether you link statically or dynamically against a GPL'ed library
does not make any difference as far as your legal obligations are
concerned. (This opinion is supported, eg, by the following item in
the FSF's licensing FAQ: <http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLPluginsInNF
* You can link a BSD3 program with a GPL'ed library and distribute the
result. (This opinion is supported by the FSF listing BSD3 as a GPL-
compatible license on their web pages and this item in their licensing
* That it is sufficient to include both BSD3 and GPL in the click
through license agreement of an installer, saying that GHC is under
BSD3 and readline under GPL. (What's the alternative? To dual
license GHC in that agreement? That's probably impossible as it AFAIK
would require a unanimous decision by *all* copyright holders of
portions of GHC's source code, which is quite a large number of people.)
PS: Once the new editline package is integrated, this problem should
vanish anyway (at least for Leopard users).
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