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Re: [TSVN] To GPL or not to GPL

From: Stefan Küng <tortoisesvn_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-08-19 09:05:43 CEST

Toby Johnson wrote:

>> Some time ago there was talk about changing our license to something
>> other than GPL, and having spent a lot of time looking at the
>> restrictions it places, and reading Richard Stallman's rants about all
>> non-free software being unethical, I am getting pretty sick of it
>> myself. I saw this link and decided he had lost the plot:
>> http://www.stallman.org/harry-potter.html

I'm all in favour to change the license. But the link to Stallman's page
doesn't tell me that he lost the plot. If you read the article he links
to and if you know a little about what happened there, I think he has a
point: telling people who bought a book to *not* read it until some
marketing guru's allows you to is just simply wrong.

> I don't see what is to be gained by making decisions on the licensing of
> software based on the actions of someone who happens to support one of
> the licenses under consideration.

I agree, we shouldn't make that decisions based on Stallman.

>> In fact, if we were to observe the GPL conditions strictly, we could
>> not release TSVN at all because most of the other component licenses
>> are (according to RMS) incompatible with GPL. For example GPL will not
>> allow you to include a component which has an additional requirement
>> which is not in the GPL (such as having to display a notice like
>> "includes software developed by CollabNet").
>> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#OrigBSD

That's why I brought up the discussion about changing our license the
first time.

> That says that the license is "incompatible" but that doesn't mean TSVN
> itself can't be released under the GPL. However, it may be necessary to
> include a "special case" in the TSVN license allowing others to link to
> a library with an "incompatible" license. This is explained here:
> <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs>

With that exception clause, we just can say that *other* people can
still link TSVN with the required libraries. But strictly speaking we're
not allowed to link TSVN and ship it that way. That would make TSVN a
source-only distribution, without an installer.

> Also, the developer of a piece of software which is released under the
> GPL is not himself (or themselves) actually bound by the GPL; it is a
> license *from* the developer *to* others:
> <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DeveloperViolate>

I know. But still, I'm all in favour of the apache-2 license.
Comments?

Stefan

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Received on Fri Aug 19 09:06:09 2005

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