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[Axiom-developer] Re: [Maxima] Re: GCL compliance and Bill Schelter

From: Bakul Shah
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: [Maxima] Re: GCL compliance and Bill Schelter
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 21:25:44 -0700

> 3) This having been said, it is my opinion that axiom would be better
>    served by a GPL license.  It is of course completely up to the
>    axiom developers and any other relevant parties, certainly not me,
>    but I feel that the existing BSD license places all the volunteer
>    work being poured into axiom at risk of being hijacked by a
>    commercial fork of the code.

Just clarifying something....

The code base that such a commericial project may start from
*does not* suddenly become closed.  An open source developer
is perfectly free and able to continue working on the
non-commercial branch.  No volunteer work gets lost.  What
you may not get are *further* changes made by the commercial

What may happen is that someone other than the volunteers
makes money.  Is that what you are calling "being hijacked"?

>                                  The last thing I am is a lawyer, but
>    my understanding of the BSD license is that anyone, including the
>    developers, can, if they so chose, relicense their copy/modified
>    version of the code under the GPL.  This does not violate the BSD
>    license, to my understanding, and should require no special
>    permission.  After all, one can make a commercial fork of BSD code
>    without permission, so one should certainly be able also to make a
>    GPL fork of said code.  

Commercial forking is allowed and done *with* the permission
given in the BSD license!  But I believe you can not take BSD
licensed code and put it under GPL due to the following in
the BSD license:

 * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
 * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
 * are met:
 * 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
 *    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
 * 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 *    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 *    documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

As I understand it, by requiring that source be available
GPL modifies condition 2. above and hence runs afoul of the
BSD license.  But I am not a lawyer!

But if this is the case and if Lisp & Maxima remain intermingled
does it mean Maxima can't be used with CMUCL?:-):-(

Personally I am *glad* there are two competing free licenses
even if there are headaches such as this one.

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