[quagga-dev 11524] Re: non-GPL code calling and depending on GPL libzebra

Paul Jakma paul at jakma.org
Wed Sep 24 20:09:36 BST 2014

On Wed, 24 Sep 2014, Greg Troxel wrote:

> Thinking about "source code of A becomes subject to license" is a
> confusing way to consider this, as it's very much like "GPL says you
> have to provide source".  Really all of copyright licensing is about
> witholding permission to copy unless other conditions are met, so it's
> much more like "You may not lawfully copy or distribute unless you also
> do X."

Agreed. The "source code of A becomes subject to the licence of B" bit 
indeed rests on what you say there.

[snip, agreed]

> The only thing that's really clear is that the precise definition of 
> derived work is unclear and perhasp somewhat contentious.  As a project 
> I think it's good for us to stay out of that.


> So, I wonder if quagga should avoid the issue by declining to distribute 
> code that is not under GPL.  People who want to write routing protocols 
> that use libzebra but are under a different license can then distribute 
> them separately, and users and packagers can deal with the licensing 
> issues, rather than the project.  quagga packages already install the .h 
> files and libzebra, so I don't see any signficant technical issues to 
> having a routing protocol daemon have separate source code.

Ack. This should be the policy from now on. When there are perceived 
licence related nits that should be addressed before we feel we can merge, 
in future we should leave it to others (e.g. the merge requestor) to 
address them, and not try address them ourselves.

That we got that wrong in the past, in trying to address nits ourselves, 
is primarily my fault. Though, hindsight is 20/20.

Paul Jakma	paul at jakma.org	@pjakma	Key ID: 64A2FF6A
Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
 		-- Lord Acton

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