On Fri, Dec 29, 2006 at 08:31:34PM +1300, Mark Kirkwood wrote:
> >I will try again. It is a difficult subject for many.
> >GPL software derived from PostgreSQL must honour the restrictions defined
> >by the PostgreSQL (BSD) license.
> >GPL software derived from OpenSSL must honour the restrictions defined
> >by the OpenSSL license.
> >What is the difference? Do you see it? You speak of "compatibility" as
> >if it means that the above are different in some technical way. They
> >are NOT different. Just because the GPL >= the PostgreSQL license,
> >does not allow you to disobey the PostgreSQL license restrictions. You
> >*cannot* release your entire derived GPL product as GPL, if it is
> >distributed with PostgreSQL. The PostgreSQL component retains the
> >PostgreSQL licensing restrictions, The GPL restrictions do not
> >supercede or replace the PostgreSQL component and there is NOTHING the
> >GPL can do to change this.
> I think the issue revolves around the conditions that GPL stipulates 
> about "linking against" libraries requiring the entire product to be 
> *distributed* as GPL, even if components have differing licenses. This 
> is the so-called "viral" clause that gets much attention!


This is what people are thinking. It's about direction where the grey zone
starts to occur. GPL is viral in that a GPL-derived product must be GPL.

We're not talking about including GPL code in OpenSSL, though. This is
about OpenSSL as the base library. The GPL cannot stipulate that a GPL
program may only be linked against GPL libraries, or used on a GPL
operating system, on GPL hardware. For example, if GNU coreutils is
compiled for HP-UX. This is "linking against" software that is much
more restrictive than the OpenSSL license. Is Stephen, or the people
whose opinion he is repeating, going to claim that the FSF considers
this an illegal distribution of GNU coreutils?

The GPL can only require that any product *derived* from the work
licensed with the GPL, only be derived from by products which are
themselves GPL.

I'm not that stunned that this is confusing to people. There is so much
invalid information available, and most of us try to stay away from law
as much as possible. It can be overwhelming. :-)

> Now as Tom pointed out, I dunno why OpenSSL suddenly gets so much 
> attention, but anyway, just trying to clarify why *in principle* that 
> Stephen F is talking about a valid *possible* interpretation of the 
> licensing maze...


Thanks for the input.


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