[Haskell-cafe] GPL answers from the SFLC (WAS: Re: ANN: hakyll-0.1)

Malcolm Wallace Malcolm.Wallace at cs.york.ac.uk
Fri Mar 5 07:29:15 EST 2010

>> Background: X is a library distributed under the terms of the GPL.  
>> Y is another library which calls external functions in the API of  
>> X, and requires X to compile.  X and Y have different authors.
>> 1) Can the author of Y legally distribute the *source* of Y under a  
>> non-GPL license, such as the 3-clause BSD license or the MIT license?

I believe the answer you got from SFLC ("no") contradicts what the  
authors of the GPL say about this case.  viz:


"You have a GPL'ed program that I'd like to link with my code to build  
a proprietary program. Does the fact that I link with your program  
mean I have to GPL my program?
Not exactly. It means you must release your program under a license  
compatible with the GPL (more precisely, compatible with one or more  
GPL versions accepted by all the rest of the code in the combination  
that you link). The combination itself is then available under those  
GPL versions."

Furthermore, GNU publishes a list of licenses that are compatible with  
the GPL, and that list includes BSD3 and MIT/X11.


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