[Haskell-cafe] GPL License of H-Matrix and prelude numeric

Chris Smith cdsmith at gmail.com
Wed Jan 26 07:52:12 CET 2011

On Tue, 2011-01-25 at 22:34 -0800, John Millikin wrote:
> The specific claim I'm refuting is that if some library or application
> depends on GPL'd code, that library/application must itself be
> GPL-licensed. This claim is simply not true. The GPL only applies to
> derived works, such as binaries or copied code.

Well, binaries (among other things) are pretty much exactly what's at
issue here.  I don't think anyone disputes that you can copy and paste
sections of BSD3 licensed source code into a new project, but that
wasn't the point brought up.  If you actually install the thing from
Hackage, you build a binary, which links in code from the GPLed library,
and distributing the result is covered by the terms of the GPL.

I definitely interpret the license field in Cabal to refer to the terms
and conditions that govern distribution of the entire program or library
as a unit, including binaries.  If the people to whom I distribute that
program are not free to further distribute it without offering source
code, then I'm not giving it to them under the terms of the BSD3
license; so the license field in Cabal should note that.

> I think you're getting mixed up between a derived work and dependent
> library/application.

I'm fairly sure I'm not mixed up.  I think it may have caused some
confusion that I'm talking about the entire program, and you seem to be
(sometimes, at least) talking about individual pieces of source code.

Chris Smith

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list