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

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: Copyright/licensing action plan + a sample [PATCH]
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 08:10:20 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

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.

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?

** please note the above was not an informed opinion.

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.

> 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.

** please note that I don't really know what freetype does, or if
it's actually a library at all.

*** NB: I know that the FSF has a different definition of
"linking" than other people (i.e. BSD guys), so this would also be
worth looking into.

Fundamentally, the current discussion is too shrill, with too many
semi-informed people (no offense to anybody) making dire
predictions and proclaiming that lilypond _must_ do X, Y, and Z.

1)  The first step is to gather information about the licensing
requirements for any external projects we use.  Pay particular
attention to the *actual* requirements, i.e. not just "we include
project X in GUB, so we must foo" or "project Y has a 3 in the
license name, so we must use GPLv3".

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

3)  If any change might be desirable in the future (for example,
Guile -- *if* guile wasn't LGPL), then we can begin looking at
which developers consent to such a change.

4)  If anybody can't be reached or doesn't consent, *then* we
look at exactly what that person wrote, and either abandon the
change idea (knowing exactly what that entails as far as using
libraries or finding replacement libraries), or rewrite their

Starting with step 4 is just silly.

- Graham

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