gpgme license

Marcus Brinkmann Marcus.Brinkmann at
Fri Aug 16 06:22:02 CEST 2002

On Wed, Jul 24, 2002 at 12:57:22PM -0400, Niels Provos wrote:
> He would like to link his BSD-licensed code against gpgme.  As gpgme
> is GPL, that would make his code automatically GPL, too.

As was repeatedly said in this thread, this is not true.  The GPL applies to
the combined work, he can still choose to dual license his code under
whatever other licenses he wants to provide it under.

> PGP is a failing technology anyway.  There are incompatibilities
> everywhere and we are probably better off using a well designed
> standard like S/MIME for example.  Releasing gpgme under a restrictive
> license is of course not going to help the adaption of that
> technology.  So, I feel justified in stating that your license stance
> is hurting pgp even further.

GPGME supports OpenPGP and S/MIME already (the latter in combination with
GpgSM, which will be integrated into GnuPG soon).  If you add support for
GPGME into your program, you can support OpenPGP and S/MIME with little
effort simultaneously.
> > This is wrong.  Your code is never tainted by the GPL.  You can always keep
> > whatever licenses you want for your code.  If you create a derived, combined
> > work, that consists of the work of somebody else's GPL code and your own,
> > then this combined work is subject to the terms of the GPL.  But such a
> > combined work is not *YOUR* source anymore, it is the combination of yours
> > and other people's work.  You seem to want to have your cake and eat it, too.
> > Sorry, but the goal of Free Software is not to make hoarders happier.
> > The GPL provides a mutual agreement of sharing.  We share, you share,
> > that's the deal.  The deal is not, we give, you take.  (This "you" is
> > impersonal.  I don't mean necessarily you personally, but whoever wants to
> > include the code in proprietary software).
> Sorry, your indoctrination by Stallman seems not yet complete.  Marius
> is well known for developing and releasing free software.  Calling him
> a hoarder seems very undiplomatic.

Although I can see how you can read this into what I wrote, my intention was
not about Marius (please read again the sentence in parenthesis).  The
problem with the LPGL and other less restrictive licenses is that they help
hoarders, whoever they are.

Your criticism doesn't reach its target, for a simple reason.  There is no
conflict between the modified BSD license and the GPL.  If all you want is
to combine two such works, you are free to do so, and we do it in many
projects with a huge success.  
  And I have never seen him eat a
> whole cake by himself either.  That seems a bit greedy.  Of course,
> I am not really familiar with your community standard, so please
> pardon my ignorance.
> I suggest that further flaming continues in private email.
> Regards,
>   Niels Provos.

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' GNU    marcus at
Marcus Brinkmann              The Hurd
Marcus.Brinkmann at

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