gpgme license

Marcus Brinkmann brinkmd at
Thu Jul 18 23:41:02 CEST 2002

On Mon, Jul 15, 2002 at 05:23:02PM -0400, marius aamodt eriksen wrote:
> hi -
> i hacked dug song's gzsig utility using gpgme so that it can sign
> gzip'ed files with PGP keys (great for software distribution).  the
> only problem is that gzsig is under a BSD license (also my preferred
> license), while gpgme is under the GPL.  is there any possibility that
> it can be released under the LGPL, so that i am allowed to link BSD
> licensed applications to it?  i know many people who would appreciate
> this.


There are two versions of the BSD license, the older one which has the obnoxious
advertisement clause and which is incompatible with the GPL.  If gzsig has this
license only, and not a better one, it is incompatible with gpgme's license.

At some time, the university of Berkeley reconsidered their stance and
and relicensed all their software to be under a new license, which is the
BSD license with the advertising clause removed.  This license is then
known under the name "modified BSD license" and qualifies as a GPL-compatible
free software license.  If gzsig is under this license, you can comine it with
GPGME.  Please note that the resulting combined work will be subject to the
conditions of the GPL, because it is the more restrictive license of the two.

If GPGME were licensed under the LGPL, proprietary software could include it
without becoming less proprietary.  As GPGME is the only program that makes it
so easy to include cryptography into an application, this would give those
proprietary programs an advantage without giving the free software community
a bigger advantage in return.  Would you really like that?

For more information on licenses, see

mb at

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