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

From: Joseph M. Reagle Jr. <reagle@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 10:16:02 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Steven Champeon <schampeo@hesketh.com>
Cc: www-dom-ts@w3.org
At 17:56 6/17/2001, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
>Steven Champeon wrote:
> > 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.

I'm missing some of the context of this discussion, but I can speak to the 
FAQ [1]. As stated, software released under the W3C software license can be 
used with GPL software or proprietary software. Very straightforward.

[1] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/IPR-FAQ-20000620.html#GNU

If the question is how the W3C license differs from copyleft, like many open 
source licenses, the critical difference is with respect to GPL 2b: "b) You 
must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part 
contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed 
as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this 
License." [2] The GPL is more restrictive than the W3C license with this 
"viral" item. The W3C is no more restrictive than GPL (you don't have to do 
anything that the GPL also doesn't make you do), and that's why it's 
compatible: derivative works can be redistributed under GPL or other (even 
proprietary) licenses as long as the original W3C license is followed.

Yes, there are questions of what "can be reasonably considered independent 
and separate works in themselves" [2] under GPL, and options for choosing 
LGPL, but I'm not sure how that's relevant.

The W3C chose to have a non-copyleft type open source license, like many 
others, and that's what we release software and test suites under, and what 
we'd require submissions to permit, so perhaps someone could restate the 
problem/question for me? (I'm not interested in copyleft versus open/free 
licenses debates if that's the question! <smile/>)

[2] http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

Joseph Reagle Jr.                 http://www.w3.org/People/Reagle/
W3C Policy Analyst                mailto:reagle@w3.org
IETF/W3C XML-Signature Co-Chair   http://www.w3.org/Signature
W3C XML Encryption Chair          http://www.w3.org/Encryption/2001/
Received on Monday, 18 June 2001 10:16:08 UTC

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