On 02/17/11 19:48, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
> On 2/17/2011 12:50 PM, Eric Hellman wrote:
>> If list members would like to "name and shame" GPL incompatible
>> interfaces that they're stuck working with, have at it. If I'm
>> mistaken and there are none left, then I'd like to know it.
> Well, the problem with "viral" licenses like GPL is that other licenses
> are essentially incompatible with them _unless_ they are open source --
> at least if you want to share the product of your combination of those
> two libraries.
> You can't combine non-open-source code and GPL code in a single project.

That's very different from saying something with a GPL license can't use
a proprietary interface. As if for example Xerxes couldn't use the
Metalib API - without which it would be pointless. As I understand him
Eric is saying that there are interfaces to library software which
actually have a license or contract which blocks GPLed software from
using them. It would be a kind of 'viral BSD' license, killing free
software (in the FSF sense) but leaving proprietary or open source (in
your Apache/MIT sense) untouched. I haven't seen any examples myself,
and can't quite see how it would be done legally.

> Personally, I much prefer "non-viral" type open source licenses like
> Apache or MIT for this reason. The GPL advocates argue that viral-type
> licenses like GPL are "more free" because nobody can take GPL code and
> turn it into a proprietary product.  I see what they're trying to do.
> But from my perspective 'non-viral' open source licenses like Apache are
> 'more free' because it gives the user the freedom to combine Apache code
> with non-open-source code in a project. You can't do that with GPL,
> which seems less free to me.

This is a classic position which is now 20 years or so old; I don't
think anyone on either side is likely to come up with a new argument -
you take your pick, and then try to find the best way to live with the
people you don't agree with, because neither side is going away in a hurry.


> Jonathan