[Haskell-cafe] Re: base-4 + gtk2hs-0.10.0 licensing

Peter Hercek phercek at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 17:02:49 EST 2009

Wolfgang Jeltsch wrote:
> I want to repeat what I’ve said earlier on this list: For Haskell, there is no 
> real difference between LGPL and GPL, as far as I understand it. If you don’t 
> want to force the users of your library to use an open source license for 
> their work then use BSD3 or a similar license for your library

Of course there is a difference and a *significant* one.

* A GPL library will force commercial users of the library to release 
their code under GPL.

* An LGPL library will force commercial users to release their source 
code only to the users of their program (which already bought it) and 
only for the purpose of recompiling with a newer version of the LGPL 
library. The users of the commercial program maybe be forbidden to 
redistribute the application source code as well as modifying the 
application source code e.g. to avoid licensing restrictions imposed on 
them by the application seller (the LGPL library user). The commercial 
program owner does not even need to distribute the source code with the 
application by default. It just needs to provide an easy way to obtain 
the source code for all licensed customers (those who bought it) and let 
them prominently know (maybe in the about box of the application) where 
to get the source for the purpose of recompilation with a newer version 
of the LGPL libs.
Providing source code without any other rights than to recompile with a 
newer version of a LGPL lib should not be such a big deal ... that is if 
the commercial application author's business model does not depend on 
some super secret process in the code or does not have something fishy 
stuff to hide :)

The above does not represent a difference only when you assume that all 
your users are crooks which will redistribute everything without a bit 
of hesitation. Then it is up to you whether you wan to sue them :)

Am I missing something?


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