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[Savannah-hackers-public] Re: [ #221247] Needing clarifications r

From: David Turner
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] Re: [ #221247] Needing clarifications regarding compatibility between the GPL and FreeType Project License
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 22:51:27 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (Windows/20041206)

Hello Everyone,

Dave Turner via RT a écrit :
address@hidden - Tue Feb 08 17:44:21 2005]:

Dear all,

Hi.  I am also David Turner, but a *different* David Turner.  Just to
avoid confusion in the thread which may follow, please refer to me as
"Novalis", which is another name I use.

Well, that was bound to happen. How quaint, isn't it ;-)

I don't know what RMS told you.  It's possible that he's seen something
I haven't.

I can see how this license could be incompatible.  It can be read to
have a specific format requirement for the license text -- a certain
file with a certain name.  But if it's the copyright holders' intent
that it be compatible, then that requirement could be read to simply say
that this text has to be in some reasonable place.  If you (and the
other two Freetype hackers) say that you think the license is
compatible, that FT can be distributed under the terms of the GPL, then
I'll submit the FTL to our licensing committee for an official evaluation.

To be honest, we always thought that the license was compatible with the GPL
until someone told us it wasn't. This was several years ago, and I don't
really remember when this happened, neither does Werner (or Robert, our
third original author, who appears in the license, and is now living a
different life and left the project for all practical purposes).

When it happened, we asked RMS, then started dual-licensing. We have no
specific interest in providing dual licenses (unlike, say, a commercial
entity like TrollTech with their Qt library), except to please all
kinds of free software developers.

Using a single license would slightly simplify things for us, though.

And yes, we don't impose a specific file name for the license. As long as
the license text is distributed with the sources, any place is reasonable
for us.

I can't comment on a license I haven't seen.  A quick Google search
shows that some other versions look similar, but if you have concerns
about some variant, please show me that variant.

We don't have concerns about it at the moment. However, if you insist, I
can try to fetch all variants of the license and produce some diffs to show
the differences more easily.

As said before, these mainly concern typos and contact addresses, not legal
permissions and restrictions.


- David Turner
- The FreeType Project  (

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