[Haskell-cafe] Re: GPL answers from the SFLC

Achim Schneider barsoap at web.de
Fri Mar 5 10:01:26 EST 2010

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic <ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com> wrote:

> For example, see the license for cpphs [1]; on Hackage it's listed as
> "LGPL" whereas the library is LGPL and the program is GPL.
Output from GPL programs is licensed under whatever license its input
is licensed under (that is, the GPL doesn't say anything and forbids
additional usage restrictions), I think the most prominent example is
gcc, which you may use to develop closed-source programs.

It's common to see programs under GPL and standard library code that is
included by default under less restrictive licenses: If GHC was GPL,
chances would be high that the RTS, itself, would still be licensed
under BSD or similar. Doing otherwise just invites either forks or a
community that is completely lacking any commercial members, both of
which are usually not intended, at all.

...but that doesn't answer why cpphs is GPL/LGPL (as it does not
inject any standard library code into its output[1]). I think it's the
usual reason: The author generally wants GPL, but doesn't mind if anyone
develops another program that does something the library part can be
used for.

[1] At least in Germany, there's no way in hell you could claim
    copyright on injected {-# LINE #-} pragmas ("Schaffungshoehe"). I
    will pity you if that's possible under your legislation

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