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Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]

From: Reinhold Kainhofer
Subject: Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 09:26:25 +0200
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Am Sonntag, 20. September 2009 09:10:20 schrieb Graham Percival:
> On Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 01:46:56AM +0200, Reinhold Kainhofer wrote:
> > Am Samstag, 19. September 2009 20:18:14 schrieb Joseph Wakeling:
> > > Guile I think is LGPLv3 although parts may be GPL -- but that's only
> > > for the current development release (i.e. 1.9.x).  1.8.x is still under
> > > LGPLv2+.
> >
> > Ouch. so as soon as a LGPLv3 version of guile comes out, lilypond can't
> > use guile any more, because LGPLv3 is not compatible with GPLv2... So,
> > lilypond then has to switch to GPLv3...
> No, that's nonsense.  Guile 1.8.7 was still released under LGPLv2,
> so we simply continue to link to that in GUB.
> If somebody compiles lilypond from the source and links to guile
> 1.9 or 2.0, then that's *their* problem.  We're not distributing
> those versions.

Putting your head into the sand isn't going to solve the problem. After all, 
every distribution compiles from source and distributes those versions. You 
can't seriously expect all distributions to change their build system just for 

> Now, at some point, there will be some important bug fix or new
> feature in guile 1.9, which is only published under v3.  *Then*
> we'd have problems... but wait!  If guile is truly under LGPL, and
> not GPL, then there should be no problems.  I mean, if you can
> link to closed-source apps (the whole point of LGPL), then surely
> a mere GPLv2 app can still link to the library?

No, because LGPL has additional restrictions. The problem is not that we would 
be violating guile's license, but lilypond's license does not allow linking to 
a LGPLv3 library. So basically, you are telling all package maintainers of all 
distributions to violate the copyright of all lilypond contributors.

> It would be nice if somebody looked into all these reasons, in a
> calm and collected way, so that we could see exactly which
> libraries might "force" us to use GPLv3, which version numbers
> this started at.

It is our own restrictive license, where the lilypond developers have 
practically been saying (by licensing as GPLv2only) that they don't want 
lilypond to link to any (L)GPLv3 libraries.

> > But then we have a problem with freetype, which
> > is FTL (BSD with advertising clause, thus incompatible with GPL) or GPLv2
> > only...
> I don't think there's any problem with linking to a BSD library.

It's BSD WITH advertising clause (three-clause version!), which is not 
compatible with GPL. It is not the two-clause version, which is compatible 
with the GPL.

> 2)  The next step is to consider whether any change needs to be
> made at all.  I'm pretty certain that right now, everything is
> kosher.

So far, I couldn't find a problem, either.


- -- 
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhold Kainhofer, address@hidden,
 * Financial & Actuarial Math., Vienna Univ. of Technology, Austria
 *, DVR: 0005886
 * LilyPond, Music typesetting,
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