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Re: Licensing of COM interface definitions of TortoiseSVN?

From: Stefan Küng <tortoisesvn_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 20:04:56 +0200

Roger Lipscombe wrote:
> I'm currently hacking[1] on more complete issue-tracker integration into
> TSVN (search the mailing list for details). This uses COM, with
> TortoiseProc as the interface consumer, and specific implementations of
> the interface for different issue-tracking systems. This meets a
> specific need we have where I work, where we'd like to integrate TSVN
> with TargetProcess. We'll be creating[2] an implementation of this
> interface that talks to TargetProcess's web service API.
>
> Assuming that Stefan accepts this work into the TSVN core (and I hope he
> does; it's quite cool, and I don't fancy maintaining a set of patches
> for it), this raises a licensing issue:

If you want this to get into the 1.5 release (which is only a few weeks
away now!), you have to hurry. I'd say you have at most a week before we
branch the 1.5.x stabilization branch. After that, nothing new gets
merged back there.

> * TortoiseSVN is licensed under the GPL. According to my interpretation
> of the GPL FAQ (specifically
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLAndPlugins), any non-trivial
> plugins for a GPL-licensed program must be GPL-compatible.
>
> This doesn't give my company a specific problem, because we don't have
> to release this provider outside our company.
> However, if we want to allow closed-source 3rd party providers, we'd
> have to put an exclusion in specifically for this case, no?

Well, there's a lot of interpretation space here: define 'non-trivial'
please? :)
Seriously: such plugins would not really add something significant to
TSVN but 'only' help TSVN use some other (really non-trivial)
third-party app (the issue tracker). I don't think the GPL would apply
to the issue tracker (maybe to the plugin, but that should not be really
a problem - the plugin would after all not contain any important stuff
of the issuetracker itself).

Even if the plugin was not GPL'ed, I'd be ok with that.

Stefan

-- 
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Received on 2008-04-27 20:05:22 CEST

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