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What if Guile changed its license to be Lesser GPL?

From: Marius Vollmer
Subject: What if Guile changed its license to be Lesser GPL?
Date: 27 Jun 2002 21:56:57 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2


we had this topic some time ago, but I would like to bring it up

We want to use the GNU MP library (GMP) for our bignum calculations,
simply because this is the Right Thing to do, technically.  However,
GMP is licensed with the Lesser GPL, which is more restrictive than
the current license of Guile.

The permissive license of Guile has been chosen so that it will be on
par with other extension libraries, like TCL, license-wise and to make
it easier for Guile to become the extension language of choice.  This
hasn't happened as far as I can see, and thus the original reason for
Guile's special license might no longer be valid.

In the course of discussing the 'GMP situation' with RMS, he said that
he'd rather change Guile's license to be the LGPL instead of the
alternative, that would consist of leaving Guile's license in place,
using GMP nevertheless (effectively turning Guile's license into the
LGPL), and providing a configure-time option to omit GMP (and thereby
reactivating the original license).

I would like to hear your opinion about this (again).  The reason I
bring this topic up again is that now I really think we should
consider switching to the LGPL and so there is immediate danger now
for the people who don't want that to happen.  Please bring forth your
arguments.  We are not in a hurry, but if you need time to consult
your lawyers etc please say so briefly so that I know that there's
something coming up.

Also, if consider the switch to the LGPL to be a good thing, please
say so.

(One more thing: if we would switch to the LGPL, but you need the
current license conditions of Guile, you can ask the FSF for a
'custom' license.  You would have to make the work of making Guile
work without GMP yourself, but that should not be difficult and there
is code out there to help you with that.)

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