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copyright of byte code containing the run time system
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Date: -- (:)
From: Xavier Leroy <Xavier.Leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: copyright of byte code containing the run time system
> Please forgive me if this has already has been discussed. I am confused
> by the new LGPL/Q license of ocaml. The ocaml source distribution 
> details the copyright of the different source files, however, I have some
> doubts about the implications for the compiled tools. Here is my
> problem:
> 
> I'm building a binary distribution of a program which is itself GPL
> licensed. There are three different ways to build an "executable":
> 
> 1.) compiled to native code
> 2.) compiled to byte code, packaged without the runtime system
>     (in this case, the user would have to install an ocaml package
>      which comes with it own license).
> 3.) compiled to byte code and with the runtime system (compiled with -custom)

Our intent is that you should be able to link with the OCaml libraries
and runtime system, and distribute the resulting executable without
any restrictions.  We chose the LGPL for these part of the systems
precisely to allow this.

Now, there is some fine print in the LGPL that makes a subtle
distinction between static linking and dynamic linking, which we did
not understand at first (and we now find this distinction silly and useless).

But even with the most pessimistic reading of the LGPL, there cannot
be any problems if your main program is itself under a free license
such as the GPL or LGPL.

> I understand that in cases (1) and (2) the OCaml license does not impose
> any new constraints on the copyright. In case (3), I plan to add the
> following text to the existing (GPL) license of the software:
> 
> 	The executable code contains a copy of the OCaml runtime system 
> 	which is licensed under the terms of the Gnu Library General
> 	Public License. [followed by a reference to the LGPL text].

This is more than the LGPL requires.  Feel free to add or not to add
this paragraph to the license of your software.

Best regards,

- Xavier Leroy