Subject: Re: Compatibility of the AFL with the GPL
From: John Cowan <>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 07:16:24 -0500 (EST)

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. scripsit:

> The initial question concerned "compatibility of the AFL with the GPL." In
> that respect, it is worth keeping in mind that "compatibility" is not a term
> of legal significance in software licensing matters.

Well, perhaps not.  But it is a legal matter (and not any other kind)
whether the terms of license Alpha and license Beta, both of which I
have accepted, contradict each other in such a way that I can't act
in a certain way that either Alpha or Beta by itself permits.

>  As I under[stand] the term,
> Stallman uses it to evaluate license provisions and how he thinks they may
> impact the GPL.

Specifically, the FSF has a canon of interpretation for the GPL that
says that clause 2b, namely

	b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
	whole or in part contains or is derived from the [GPL-licensed]
	Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no
	charge to all third parties under the terms of this [GPL] License.

means "under the terms, and under no other terms".

John Cowan     
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There
are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language
that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful.
        --_The Hobbit_
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