Changing GPGME's license

Gordon Worley redbird at
Sun Jul 20 05:46:02 CEST 2003

On Friday, July 18, 2003, at 09:44  AM, Werner Koch wrote:

> I'd still hold up my reasoning if GPGME would be just one library to
> do foo stuff.  But GnuPG (and thus GPGME) is more than just some Free
> Software tool for processing data.  Based on PGP, GnuPG is also
> important for ensuring the right to communicate privately over
> computers without the fear of being spied on.  Especially these days
> it is again more and more important to have means to secure ones own
> communication.

One of the hardest things I've had to face convincing people to use the 
GPGME.framework wrapper is that they have to GPL their software to do 
it.  Many users want ubiquitous access to features of OpenPGP in their 
network applications, but it isn't there because non-GPL compatible 
software on Mac OS X (and GNUStep, I suppose, though I don't know how 
their Objective-C libraries are licensed, so I can't comment too much) 
can't use our frameworks without changing their licenses.  And maybe 
this wouldn't be so bad, but on the Mac there's a long tradition of 
non-free software that is going to take a long time to overcome.  We've 
made great strides since the days before Mac OS X, but there's still 
more software released under closed rather than open licenses on the 

I'd really like to see GPGME.framework used in every network 
application I use.  I'd like cryptographic functions built in rather 
than tacted onto the side with patches and system services.  And 
everyone I've spoken to about it wants the same thing.  My problem is 
developers.  They're willing to say "This product contains the GPGME 
library.", but few are willing to completely abandon the closed source 
model to add one feature.

I know that Werner wants to encourage free software, but I think that 
in this case it will anyway.  GPGME uses GnuPG, so to use GPGME the 
user will have to install GnuPG, exposing them to free software.  And, 
maybe if developers see how great GPGME is, even though all its code is 
given away for free, they'll be more inclined to switch to free 

If it's a matter of funds, I don't have oodles of money, but I'd be 
willing to contribute to a fund to make GPGME LGPL so that we can push 
it to Mac OS X developers.  I'm sure some of my users would be willing 
to do the same.

Gordon Worley - Mac GPG Project              ``Doveriai no proveriai.''
redbird at                                    --Russian proverb
PGP:  0xBBD3B003

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