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Re: GPL (was: Re: Early XSLT's)

From: Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 17:56:07 -0400
Message-ID: <3B2D2777.BD334E5C@w3.org>
To: Steven Champeon <schampeo@hesketh.com>
Cc: www-dom-ts@w3.org, site-policy@w3.org
Steven Champeon wrote:
> 
> on Sun, Jun 17, 2001 at 09:12:03AM -0400, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> > For the record, here is the relevant part in the FAQ regarding the
> > difference between the GPL and the W3C Software copyright license:
> >
> > [[[
> > 6.4 Is code released under the W3C license compatible with the GNU General
> > Public License (GPL)?
> >
> > Software which is free from any claims beyond W3C terms and
> > conditions are compatible with the GPL and may be redistributed
> > under the GPL. The GPL ensures users always have the ability to run,
> > change, or redistribute software with or without changes; it also
> > prevents such software from being bundled with closed/proprietary
> > software such that users lose their rights to that free code in the
> > new product. The W3C license allows the latter to happen, for W3C
> > code to be used in proprietary software, but it can also be used
> > with GPL software and redistributed under those terms.
> > ]]]
> 
> Yes, but the understanding reflected in this FAQ is incorrect, as far
> as I know. Nothing prevents GPL'd software from being "bundled" with
> any other software, and such bundling does not affect the proprietary
> software at all[1]. In the case where actual code is compiled and
> linked into a proprietary software package, and is not licensed under
> the more lenient Lesser General Public License (LGPL)[2], then that
> proprietary software must release its own code as well. However, if a
> library is under the LGPL, it may be compiled into software whose
> source remains closed.
> 
> And in any case, I fail to see how a test suite of any kind would put
> the fear of GNU into anyone writing proprietary software, as I am not
> aware of any arguments to be made in favor of building the test cases
> - and code to run them - directly into the proprietary software
> packages in question.
> 
> Can Philippe shed some light on how a DOM test suite released under
> the GPL could possibly cause any problems with proprietary software?
> I'm sure I'm just being thick here and missing the obvious.

Based on the elements from the FAQ, there are differences between the W3C
Software license and GPL. If the elements are wrong, I suggest to send
your comments to the site-policy@w3.org mailing list. Joseph Reagle, our
Team policy contact, will probably do a better job than me to track down
the differences between the licenses.

For the moment, W3C, NIST and Curt agreed to use the W3C license, I don't
see any reason to go back on this issue.

Bests regards,
Philippe
Received on Sunday, 17 June 2001 17:56:15 GMT

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