On Fri, Sep 06, 2002 at 01:23:28PM +0200, Rene Mayrhofer wrote:

> The reason why freeswan can currently not go into main is an issue with some 
> code license that is bundled with it. I am struggling with this for quite 
> some time now and at the moment I need some help to clarify it....

> Freeswan (the user space daemon and the kernel module) needs Eric Young's 
> libdes to work. The freeswan code is mostly licensed under GPL, while libdes 
> has the advertising clause in it. However, quoting from the CREDITS file of 
> freeswan:

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The LIBDES library by Eric Young is used.  It is not under the GPL -- see
> details in libdes/COPYRIGHT -- although he has graciously waived the
> advertising clause for FreeS/WAN use of LIBDES.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Which parts of freeswan link against libdes?  According to
/usr/share/doc/freeswan/copyright, some parts are LGPL.  Do we know for
sure that libdes+GPL is happening?

Also, since freeswan uses libdes internally (it does not appear to use
libssl), if there is a GPL violation here, it is a violation whether or
not the binaries are in main.

> I did get a forwarded email from freeswan upstream developers, written by 
> Eric 
> Young. Because we think that he did not intend this mail to be made public, I 
> can not send it to this list or include in the freeswan package without his 
> explicit permission (and contacting him might, in the experience of freeswan 
> upstream authors, be difficult). In this non-signed mail he basically says 
> that he does not care about this advertising clause anymore as he now works 
> on other projects, but is, due to his contract with RSA, unable to release a 
> new version with a changed license. 

If he can't release a new version with a changed license because of his
contract, then what legal force does his email to freeswan upstream have? 
Perhaps he "doesn't care" about the advertising clause, but this is not
the same thing as waiving the clause.

To be GPL-compatible, the code must be distributable under the exact
terms of the GPL.  If it's distributable under those terms, it can also
be used in other GPL projects.  If we can't also use libdes in other GPL
projects, then even if he has waived the advertising clause for freeswan,
the license is still not GPL compatible.

What is needed here is a license exemption from the freeswan copyright
holders, granting permission to distribute binaries linked against
libdes.  An email that we can't even cite on a mailing list gives us no
legal protection if EAY decided to sue.  We must assume that EAY's
license is still in full force; therefore, we do not have a license that
allows us to distribute binaries combining libdes with GPL FreeS/WAN

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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