The next step

Manuel M. T. Chakravarty
Tue, 29 May 2001 23:50:47 +1000

"Simon Marlow" <> wrote,

> > > Sure, but if the code in the proprietary source ends up 
> > 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?

Maybe I haven't paid enough attention to the previous
discussion about the library organisation, but what are the
criteria for libraries to be in the magic set which should
not use the LGPL?  

Anyway, if everybody else thinks that requiring a BSD style
license is a good idea, just ignore me.