On Thu, Dec 28, 2006 at 03:56:48PM -0500, Stephen Frost wrote:
> > In conclusion - I'll restate. The only license that can restrict the
> > distribution of OpenSSL, is the OpenSSL license. The GPL is not relevant
> > in determining where OpenSSL may be distributed to.
> The issue is not the distribution of OpenSSL but rather the distribution
> of GPL applications which link against OpenSSL.
> Because of the GPL the resulting application can not have any
> *additional* restrictions on it (meaning it can be linked against libpq
> without any problem because libpq's license doesn't add any restrictions,
> but can't be against OpenSSL because the OpenSSL license adds the
> advertising clause which isn't in the GPL).

I don't see the problem. If I redistribute PostgreSQL with GPL software
that I author, I am supposed to keep a copy of the PostgreSQL license
with the derived works. Respecting the license for every component of
software is regular business.

By the words you describe above, the GPL doesn't require that you
include a copy of the PostgreSQL license either. Are you saying that
this makes GPL incompatible with PostgreSQL?

It's silliness. If you redistribute OpenSSL, you honour the OpenSSL
requirements. That's the *only* requirement by copyright law. It doesn't
matter if it is GPL on top, or not. You always honour each license.

The *only* thing GPL-with-GPL does is reduce complexity.

> *That's* the issue here, not whatever it is you were arguing against.

I think you might only be listening to one side.

> There are a few ways to resolve this- add GNUTLS support to PostgreSQL
> (GNUTLS is LGPL and so won't cause a problem with GPL or other licenses
> in general) or get every GPL application author which ends up using 
> OpenSSL to provide an exception (which Debian's been working on, 
> actually, with some success), or get GPLv3 to allow advertising clauses
> and get everyone to switch to it (not exactly likely to happen...), or
> get OpenSSL to drop the advertising clause (I've been told they would if
> they could but that much of the code is authored by an individual who
> now works for a competitor and now has very little interest in helping
> out the OpenSSL project in any way...).

1) Adding GNUTLS support to PostgreSQL does not eliminate any PostgreSQL
   obligation to honour the OpenSSL distribution license. Any PostgreSQL
   distribution that includes OpenSSL must honour the OpenSSL distribution
   license, just as any PostgreSQL distribution that includes GNUTLS must
   honour either the GPL or LGPL license. Nothing changes. It's about
   distribution. If PostgreSQL includes OpenSSL support, it is a derived
   works when distributed with OpenSSL. It is a misunderstanding to believe
   that support for many interfaces allows you to avoid any licensing
   issues. It is a popular misunderstanding.

2) Explicitly stating an OpenSSL "exception" is not a legal requirement.
   It is not possible for any derived product to "except" conditions
   for OpenSSL. OpenSSL defines its *own* license. You cannot modify it,
   which means that the GPL cannot reduce its significance, nor can an
   explicit exception claus increase its significance. OpenSSL
   distribution rights are defined by the OpenSSL license. Full stop.

   If you wish to explicitly point out that you don't mind if your
   product is linked against OpenSSL (which should be obvious by the
   fact that you included support for it in your program), you are
   free to do so. Maybe it'll keep the lawyers a little hungrier.
   It's not necessary, and it *cannot* have legal effect.

   Exception clause or not, every author of a derived works that makes
   use of it, should understand their *obligation* to honour any and
   all licenses for any derived software. GPL, LGPL, OpenSSL, Apache,
   whatever. The exception clause is making this obvious. It has no
   legal weight.

> If you feel the advertising clause is fine, then it's the GPL that's at
> fault here for not allowing it.  If you disagree with the advertising
> clause then it's the fault of the OpenSSL license.  Personally, I don't
> really care which way you want to look at it.

No. The GPL is allowed to do whatever it wants. What it wants, is to
achieve Richard Stallman's vision of software communism. What the GPL
cannot do is say whether you can, or cannot use OpenSSL. Only OpenSSL
can say whether you can or cannot use OpenSSL.

> On another note, personally I feel it's a good thing to support multiple
> libraries when the cost of doing so is reasonably low.  I had kind of
> half-expected people would agree with that sentiment and so the
> licenseing issue it would resolve (for at least Debian) is that much
> more reason.  I didn't really expect a reaction of "there isn't a
> licenseing issue so we shouldn't add support for another library".  I
> could understand if people don't care about the licensing aspect but
> I don't really get this one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to an
> SSL library.  We don't seem to feel that way about authentication
> mechanisms, operating systems, or even client libraries.

They're entirely different discussions. One is about politics. One is
about practical application.

With regard to practical application, I agree with you.

With regard to giving in to legal FUD, I feel it is my duty to stand up
to it as best as I can, to prevent it from becoming widely accepted.
Nothing personal, and we're both entitled to our own opinions on the matter.
You expressed yours. I've expressed mine. Hopefully truth is found from
the reading of both.


.  .  _  ._  . .   .__    .  . ._. .__ .   . . .__  | Neighbourhood Coder
|\/| |_| |_| |/    |_     |\/|  |  |_  |   |/  |_   | 
|  | | | | \ | \   |__ .  |  | .|. |__ |__ | \ |__  | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all
                       and in the darkness bind them...


---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 6: explain analyze is your friend

Reply via email to