Subject: Re: Meaning of "combined work"?
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 13:44:34 -0500


Thanks alot for the pointer to the object broker issue. I'll look for the
discussions you cited. If you chance to be able to relocate them quickly,
please do send me a link.

> This is seen as a potential weakness of
> the current version of the GNU GPL and is one of the areas being
> addressed in the work leadin to GPL v3.

Unless GPL v3 will be released in the next week or two, I'm not going to
have the option to wait. Also, there has been enough controversy around v3
(e.g. Linus removing the "or any subsequent version" from the Linux sources)
that I would want to study the new license carefully before adopting it (as
anyone should, with any new license).

Sun's license is, for the moment, not an option. I am inquiring for the
moment under the assumption that we are going to be bound by GPL because we
hope to incorporate Linux code. I'm trying to understand what that means for

It may prove that the answer is to eschew Linux code, in which case there
are many clearer licenses to choose from. I like open source, and GPL has
been a tremendously significant factor in the success of open source, but
Richard's consistent vagary and avoidance of clarity on what it means and
how it is applied is (quite properly) a concern to anyone contemplating
using it. As a minor example: there is a long list of "incompatible"
licenses over at FSF, but mostly no explanation of why those licenses are
incompatible. One begins to wonder if the conflicts may exist more for the
purposes of ideology than reason.