[Haskell-cafe] Using stringize and string concatenation in ghc preprocessing

Sven Panne svenpanne at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 20:21:57 UTC 2017

2017-01-23 20:55 GMT+01:00 Ben Franksen <ben.franksen at online.de>:

> It is not "my" intepretation, rather it is the "official" interpretation
> of the GPL according to the people who created it (the FSF).

But "official" is not the same as "is accepted by any court". Of course the
people who created the license have a biased view, but so do company
lawyers (and the rest of the management): The "safe mode" for them is to
say "no", you can't be blamed then and don't do anything wrong, at least
not immediately. As a lot of things in life, such decisions are not driven
by desire to improve the well-being of a greater entity
(company/society/...), but purely personal interests.

> Do you have any evidence to support this statement?

Something like this happened to me at least three times in my career, and
even if it's not direct refusal to accept such licenses, there are quite a
few companies (especially bigger ones) which require a *lenghty* process to
get SW with such licenses approved. This doesn't exactly encourage
engineers to take that route...

> I ask because if what you say is true, most companies willfully and
> severely restrict
> their options.

There is no such thing as "the company", basically people are acting as
individuals (see above).

> For instance, a company that employs lawyers who "won't
> touch GPL3 or even LGPL3 with a ten foot pole" could not use Linux in
> any way (the kernel is GPL licensed), nor e.g. Android (based on Linux
> kernel). [...]

That's not true: If you take $$$ and e.g. license your RedHat Enterprise
Linux/SLES/..., you have a legal entity (RedHat, SuSE, ...) which takes the
responsibility before court, not *your* company. So that's the easy way for
lawyers. Alas, there is no GHC/cpphs company of sufficient size for this to
work in our case.

 Disclaimer: I don't say that this is a perfect situation, but it's just
what I've experienced. Just shouting "GPL is fine, you can use it!" ignores
the darker side of company life...

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