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[Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
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Date: 2001-11-27 (11:01)
From: Rafael 'Dido' Sevilla <sevillar@t...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml

On Tue, Nov 27, 2001 at 09:28:59PM +1100, Fergus Henderson wrote:
> On 26-Nov-2001, Patrick M Doane <> wrote:
> > ... it's a lot less work to change the license ...
> Well, maybe, maybe not...
> you might be surprised at how difficult that often is ;-)

Especially if not all the code is really yours.  I believe that's the
case with OCaml.  There have been whispers here and there that the OCaml
regular expression code contains code taken from a LGPLed regex library,
whose copyright is owned by the Free Software Foundation.  THEY
definitely are not going to agree with any sort of change away from the
(L)GPL, and will not look kindly on any violation.  The sort of code
sharing we usually see is encouraged, and very few projects of any great
magnitude can  say that their code is completely written by them.  It
isn't true of Linux (there's a lot of code 'stolen' from BSD in there)
and that certainly isn't true of the OCaml runtime and libraries.

And even if you owned all the code and decided to change its license,
especially to something less liberal than the GPL, people who don't like
it can just take your old GPLed version and use THAT instead and hack on
THAT instead.  Like what happened with Sistina and GFS.

Changing licenses of a major project, especially one that has been a
community effort is not something that can be done without the aid of a
lawyer experienced in the entanglements of copyright law...

Rafael R. Sevilla <>   +63(2)   8177746 ext. 8311
Programmer, Inter.Net Philippines                +63(917) 4458925                OpenPGP Key ID: 0x5CDA17D8
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