Subject: Re: Meaning of "combined work"?
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 14:18:54 -0800
Fri, 29 Dec 2000 14:18:54 -0800
on Fri, Dec 29, 2000 at 01:44:34PM -0500, Jonathan S. Shapiro ( wrote:
> Karsten:
> 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.

Hunting through archives.  What I recall didn't address technical
issues, but was more an overview.  I'd suggest contacting RMS or Moglen.
FSF *needs* a position paper on this issue.  There was someone working
on a series of articles on the GPL, we played email tag for a few weeks,
never got to talk with him.

> 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.

In my typography of free software licenses, I identify the GNU GPL as an
ideological license.  It's primary goal  is  to propogate the meme of
free software.  The LGPL is a slight pragmatic compromise of the GPL,
concedign the fact that there are times in which, to encourage the use
of free-software functionality, in the face of competing functionality
in a non-free form.

By contrast, I typify BSD/MIT licenses as technological -- their primary
purpose is to propogate a technology or standard, a task to which they
are quite suited.

The Mozilla Public License and derivatives (SISSL, Jabber) are
"business-pragmatic" licenses.  Copyleft in their primary coverage, but
having LGPL-like exemptions for joined code.  Several major projects
(Mozilla, OpenOffice) are now dualed under MozPL(ish) plus GPL and/or

The Artistic license defies ready categorization.

Most business licenses (SCSL, IBM PL, Lucent) fall into the "tell me
about your childhood" category.  They make some stab at openness, but
are in large and distinct part concerned with the peculiar fears of the
company authoring the license.  Some of them are reasonably good, most
are (IMVAO) not.

I would probably take a stab at addressing your issues through a
dual-license or special exemption approach.

Karsten M. Self <>
 Evangelist, Zelerate, Inc.            
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal

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