Bert JW Regeer wrote:

I am a small software engineer who is currently doing contract work for a company, and I have a question about what license the vpopmail library is under (vpopmail.a and friends).

I believe almost every file within the project indicates that it is licensed under the GPL. The license itself is in the file COPYING.

I am developing commercial software for them that would link against the
> library, and now I have read that  doing so could cause my binary to
> fall under the GPL, and thus it's source code as well, are these claims
> warranted?

You are not allowed to distribute a program that has vpopmail code linked into it or distribute modified copies of vpopmail, unless it is also released under the GPL. If you need to modify vpopmail, any changes you make should be contributed back to the project.

Selling a commercial product that includes vpopmail code is exactly what the GPL license is designed to prevent. Why should you get to sell our labor without paying us?

If so, would it be possible to get the vpopmail lib's under something
> less constrictive, for example the LGPL?

I wouldn't oppose a change of license, but you would have to get permission from the original author, and all of the previous maintainers. I believe that anyone credited with working on the project should be allowed a veto. Don't hold your breath...

Now, would it be okay if I wrote a wrapper, which if needed could be released under the GPL, that then talked to the real binary through other means (pipes, most probably)?

Have you looked at vpopmaild? Your commercial program is welcome to connect to the daemon. (See README.vpopmaild.) You need a very recent version of vpopmail to have vpopmaild. (Seriously consider using the CVS version.) It would be very helpful (and good for your karma) if you worked with the latest development release, and posted any problems you find on the SourceForge vpopmail-devel list. If you find a bug, or need new features it will get high priority for the next release, or if you don't have any problems, I'll make it a stable release. Patches are most welcome.

I am not a lawyer either. If you have any doubt about the legality of your approach, you had better talk to someone with experience in the subject! It often costs much less in the long run.


Reply via email to