The next step

Simon Marlow
Tue, 29 May 2001 11:45:55 +0100

> > Sure, but if the code in the proprietary source ends up=20
> looking similar
> > enough to the GPL code, it might be hard to prove that it wasn't a
> > derived work.  This is a risk you just don't want to take if your
> > business depends on keeping your sources non-free.
> This is the first time, I have heard about such a scenario
> and I don't think that it is realistic.  For an infringement
> of copyright (rather than a patent), non-trivial amounts of
> code must be basically the same.  This won't happen unless
> the programmer has a photographic memory or actually copies
> parts of the code.

Right or wrong, the L?GPL simply scares the bejeezus out of corporate
types (with notable exceptions like IBM & HP).  I'm not going to argue
whether this is right or wrong - I'm just asking whether those who
favour the LGPL could compromise slightly and make life a little easier
for some of us.  There's no problem with "external" libraries like
Gtk+Haskell, just the libraries we're going to keep in the main
repository (call it the core set or whatever, basically the libraries
we're going to end up distributing with GHC).

On the other hand, I certainly don't want to discourage people from
contributing because they don't like our license requirements.  But
things are going to get real messy if every file has its own license.
Looking down the hierarchy we have at the moment, much of the existing
code (from hslibs, the FFI project etc.) is either under the GHC license
or is licenseless.  So would it be too painful to ask that anyone who
wants to contribute code under the LGPL does it in a separate part of
the repository?