Changing GPGME's license
wk at gnupg.org
Mon Jul 21 18:59:55 CEST 2003
On 18 Jul 2003 17:24:31 -0500, Robert J Hansen said:
> I don't see how this amounts to taking your code proprietary. All the
> code you wrote remains free to the world. Admittedly, the LGPL doesn't
> enforce code-sharing as heavily as the GPL--but I think it's
> disingenuous to claim that LGPLing software runs the risk of free
> software being taken proprietary.
Of course, the LGPLed code can't be taken proprietary but it opens
some loopholes. One example: There used to be no free SSH
implementation for many years despite the fact that all the crypto
stuff of SSH was heavily based on a modified version of the LPGed GMP
(math library). So they got a real advantage without given anything
back. Of course I agree that the effect of SSH was an overall
positive one and thus the LGPLed GMP made sense. OTOH, I am pretty
sure, nobody thought about such a use of the GMP in the beginning and
thus didn't care too much about the proprietary advantages.
> other GPLed pieces of software. In this light, you can view an LGPLed
> GPGME as a way to get a "foot in the door", so to speak, with GPLed
Correct. However, the use of GPLed programs is pretty common - even
Microsoft distributes GNU tools as part of some development kits.
> If I was a commercial software developer, I might well be skittish about
> using GnuPG for anything. But given the choice between a very expensive
Why? It is pretty common to use GnuPG or other GPL software in
proprietary products. See above.
> If you're not making any money from GPGME now, and you won't be making
> any money off GPGME if you LGPL it, then it's not going to have an
> impact on your bottom line to LGPL it or if you keep it GPLed.
Well, yes. However the question is how high I value a free crypto
goals and whether we can keep maintaining gpgme for free.
> It's absolutely fair to ask this. Have you considered the Street
> Performer Protocol? I.e., say "our goal is $5000 US; once this is hit,
> it's LGPLed, until then it's GPLed"?
Yes, this is an option.
Werner Koch <wk at gnupg.org>
The GnuPG Experts http://g10code.com
Free Software Foundation Europe http://fsfeurope.org
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