gpgme license

Niels Provos provos at
Thu Jul 25 01:06:10 CEST 2002

On Wed, Jul 24, 2002 at 04:24:48PM +0200, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> What you call freedom is really only the power to restrict the freedom of
> others.  The GPL provides a balance between freedom and power.  It exercises
> some of its power under copyright law to restrict other people, yes, but
> this is necessary so that those other people can not take away the freedom
> from everybody else.
I suggest that you suspend your freedom ideology for a moment.  It is
well understood that the GPL is a more restrictive license than a BSD
license.  And no rhetoric about what you perceive as freedom is going
to change that.  Unfortunately, you are completely missing the point
about Marius' request.

He would like to link his BSD-licensed code against gpgme.  As gpgme
is GPL, that would make his code automatically GPL, too.  As a result,
he was asking if it is possible to make gpgme licensed under the LGPL
which was created specifically for this purpose.

If you do a google search on GPL and LGPL, you will find many other
people who are in the same situation.  They can not use a GPL'ed
library because the GPL restricts what they are allowed to do with
their own code once linked to a GPL'ed library.

Anyway, as you seem unwilling or unable to change the licensing of
gpgme, the result of course is that Marius is going to honor your
license and wont use gpgme.  He is going to either rewrite similar
functionality using a less restrictive license, or more likely than
not to use any PGP functionality at all.

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.

> 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.  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.

  Niels Provos.

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