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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 13:34:46 +0200
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Am Sonntag, 20. September 2009 10:11:54 schrieb Graham Percival:
> > 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.
> No, I am not telling them to do that.  I am saying that, if guile
> 2.0 comes out and we have not switched, they should link to
> guile-1.8 if they want to legally distribute lilypond.

Okay, and what do you think will happen in reality? I don't think 
distributions will be willing to spend time and resources on providing 
outdated software/libraries, simply because lilypond wants old versions. I'd 
rather say lilypond will be dropped instead, citing licensing issues with 

> Perhaps there is a problem of language here -- the word "must" is
> very strong in English.  For example, "if x is greater than 5,
> then it must be greater than 4".  "must" means that there is no
> possibility of an alternate option.

What I didn't write down, but implicitly assumed was the half-sentence "if 
we/they want to use the current, installed library versions". Then it is a 

> I'd also like more details about the GPLv2 linking to LGPLv3
> library issue.
> > 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.
> Nobody has said that they "don't want" lilypond to link to LGPLv3.
> If there is a solid legal reason why GPLv2 cannot link to a LGPLv3
> license, please state it clearly.


> I am not arguing that there *isn't* such a solid legal reason; I
> have not spent an hour reading those licenses recently.  But at
> the same time, I am not aware of any such reason.

The LGPLv3 also includes the patents clause and the anti-DRM clause, which 
both add additional restrictions, which the GPLv2 does not have. 

On the other hand, all lilypond contributors -- by putting their code under 
GPLv2only -- explicitly say that they do not agree to any additional 
Thus lilypond can't link to any (L)GPLv3 library, which would add additional 

> > > > 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.
> I think you mean "four-clause version", but agreed.

Of course.

OTOH, the FTL is not the BSD, as my mail might suggest (sorry for the 
confusion). It is rather a completely different license containing some 
attribution clause, making it incompatible with GPLv2 (for the same reasons as 
the 4-clause BSD lisense). But apparently it is compatible with GPLv3, so we 
don't have any problems with FT, should we switch to GPLv3.

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