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Ocaml license - why not GPL?
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Date: 2005-01-31 (09:00)
From: Xavier Leroy <Xavier.Leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Ocaml license - why not GPL?
> Hmmm... This is an interesting point! The toplevel library includes 
> the compiler code, which is licensed under the QPL,


> but yet somehow must be allowed to link to GPLed libraries and
> programs.

You meant: "I (Alessandro Baretta) needs to link it to GPLed libraries
and programs".  There is no moral imperative of being able to link
something with GPLed stuff.

> If the toplevel library may not be linked with GPLed code,
> then the toplevel itself become hardly usable,

Again, you meant "... usable to me because of my choice of the GPL".

> and a significant
> portion of my code,  which is GPLed and links the toplevel library,
> would be illegal.
> Might the caml breeders please comment on this issue?

Only if you stop calling me a "caml breeder".  Makes me feel like a
nuclear reactor :-)

More seriously:

- The toplevel library is indeed covered by the QPL.

- Clause 6 of the QPL is pretty clear.  In summary, it stipulates that
  a QPL-ed library can be linked with pretty much any code that is
  distributed as open source.  But please don't take my words for it:
  read the license.

- The problem in your case is most likely to be with the GPL, which
  puts much stronger requirements on any piece of code that comes
  in contact with GPL-ed code.  But don't take my word for it, as
  I have no expertise (and no interest) in license compatibility issues.
  Read the GPL, consult license experts, make up your mind.

- If it turns out you have a QPL/GPL incompatibility, you have exactly
  three options:
      1) don't use the toplevel library
      2) put your code under another license than the GPL
      3) get a more liberal license for OCaml by becoming a member
         of the Caml Consortium.

> This bothers me quite a bit. Am I to expect a legal pursuit from INRIA 
> for violating the QPL for having released mixed GPL+QPL code?

No, because you didn't violate our license (the requirements set by
the QPL are met).

> Or am I to pursue myself because the QPL breaks my own GPLed code?

This is more like it :-)  You, or your customers.  Remember,
inconsistent license = no license = nobody can do anything with your code.

> I would really appreciate an official response from the INRIA people. I 
> think Ocaml is a great tool for commercial free software development, 
> but in order to be able to build a thriving business I must make sure 
> that Xavier et al. won't meet me with a team of Dobermans to settle 
> copyright issues...

Again, your problems are not with us.  The ones that could come after
you are your customers.

- Xavier Leroy