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[Savannah-register-public] [task #7656] Submission of gmailreader

From: Rafael Cunha de Almeida
Subject: [Savannah-register-public] [task #7656] Submission of gmailreader
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 14:27:20 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071115 Iceweasel/ (Debian-

Follow-up Comment #4, task #7656 (project administration):


I hope I'm not being too annoying, but I'm trying to learn a little bit more
about software distribution here, as I seem to have some misunderstandings
about it.

"You can release each file separately under a compatible license, though the
application as a whole is under the GNU GPL. So the project as a whole needs
to be released as such, with a copy of the GPL license, plus a standard
license statement (in a README file for example), explaining among others
which versions of the GNU GPL are concerned.

It would be misleading to release your project under just the BSD license
with any mention of the GNU GPL, because what end-users get is a GPL'd

I thought that releasing my program as a BSD project would be OK because of
this part of the GPLv2 license:

"These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable
sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably
considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License,
and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as
separate works."

Together with that quote we have to also keeping in mind what GPLv2 defines
as work based on the Program:

"a "work based on the Program" means either the Program or any derivative
work under copyright law: that is to say, a work containing the Program or a
portion of it, either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated into
another language."

Althought you can recognize the API of the library (which I don't think is an
issue), there isn't any lines from the library itself on my code. So I think
gmailreader can exist as a BSD-licensed project and not a GPL project, right?

As long as I don't distribute my software together with libgmail I shouldn't
need to include GPL license on my project, should I? If the user downloads
libgmail its license will be right there in the package. I even have a section
in the README file regarding libgmail and saying how it's GPLv2. The way I see
it there's the gmailreader BSD-licensed project, the GPLv2-licensed libgmail
project and there could be a third GPL-licensed project composed of
gmailreader + libgmail.

My idea is to try to make gmailreader a separted project from libgmail. Even
because I don't like to be restricted to libgmail too much; not because of the
license, but because the library isn't particularly that good. If I had the
time I'd have probably written my own library for that. And if I find a better
library some day I'll gladely switch to that. So I didn't want my program to
be tied up to libgmail so much, although it's a dependency right now.

You say it's misleading to the end-user because he will have to use GPL
software in order to run my program. But what I have actually written and what
would be distributed here would all be under BSD license. Then, what would be
distributed here wouldn't be a GPL project, would it? Although, if you
distribute my file and the libgmail file as a single project it'll be a GPL

I think if the user sees this as a GPL project, then he'll assume all the
code is GPL, when none of the code he would actually download directly from
here would be GPL. I think that's also misleading. Of course, I'll certainly
have to warn about the license of libgmail.

If I didn't have any warnings in the README file or before a link to any code
with a license different from the rest of the project, that would indeed be
misleading. But if the project was classified as GPL I'd have to warn the user
that he was about to download BSD-licensed files when he downloads gmailreader
(not legally, but I wouldn't feel good if I didn't) and I'd still need to warn
the user that the version of GPL that the libgmail uses is actually GPLv2
only. And I still wouldn't be able to distribute libgmail + gmailreader
together due to savannah policy.

"Do you plan to have people download your modified version separately?"

Yes. Actually my program should work with the original version of the
library, although lacking some functionality. I'm hoping the libgmail will
eventually evolve enough so that I won't need to keep my own version anymore.
I think it would be far better for the user to just apt-get install libgmail
and then copy to his home directory. It would also be very
convinient for me not to have to keep messing with libgmail code.

So, I hope to eventually only have a link to libgmail project and no external
links for the libgmail library package itself.

Thanks you for all your help,


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