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Re: "Adobe Open Source License" GPL compatible?


From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: "Adobe Open Source License" GPL compatible?
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 13:40:48 +0200

Martin Dickopp wrote:

[... "GPL incompatibility" ...]

Repost of the following April 1st joke (there's much truth in it) is 
called for.

Posted (not here) by Shlomi Fish on Monday April 01.

----
A recent press conference of the Free Software Foundation confirmed 
the rumors that the GNU General Public License was found to be 
incompatible with itself. This newly discovered fact may actually 
cause a lot of disorder in the free software world in which most 
programs and libraries are licensed under this license. 

Richard Stallman, chairman of the FSF, called upon developers to 
immediately exempt GPL-licensed software from the GPL, as far as 
linking them with GPL programs is concerned. "We have already made 
sure all GNU software and every other software that is licensed to 
the Free Software Foundation would be ad-hoc compatible with itself. 
However we need other developers to do the same for their software", 
Stallman said. 

Eben Moglen, the FSF's attorney outlined the subsequent steps that 
his organization will take to overcome this crisis. The first step 
would be releasing a Modified General Public License (or MGPL for 
short) that will be compatible with the GPL and with itself as well 
as with all other licenses that the GPL is already compatible with. 
It will be labeled the GPL version 2.1, thus allowing developers to 
convert their software to it. He noted that care would be taken to 
make sure the upcoming GPL version 3.0 will be compatible with 
itself, as well as the MGPL. 

For the time being, though, there is an explosion of commentary, 
confusion and otherwise bad temper about the newly formed situation. 
Eric S. Raymond, the famous Open Source Guru notes: "This is one of 
the greatest blows to the Open Source world, I have yet encountered. 
I have already exempted all of my own software from the GPL in this 
regard, but there is a lot of other software out there, and many of 
its authors are not very communicative. 

Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder, on the other hand, seems to 
find the situation very amusing: "I said times and again, that 
viral licenses such as the GPL are a bad idea, and many open-source 
advocates disagreed. Now they see that even making sure one's 
license is compatible with itself, is hard to do when you open that 
can of worms." 

The integrity of many software projects whose license is the GPL and 
yet contain works licensed by several developers is in jeopardy. The 
Linux kernel is a prominent example of such a case. In a post to its 
mailing list, Linus Torvalds commented that, in their case, it was 
not an issue. "My interpretation of the GPL is already quite unusual, 
so I'll simply rule that I also interpret the GPL as compatible with 
itself." 
----

regards,
alexander.


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