Copyright for readline/editline packages

Isaac Dupree isaacdupree at
Sat Jan 12 11:33:36 EST 2008

Thorkil Naur wrote:
> Hello,
> Indeed an interesting question. Although I am no licensing expert, I guess 
> that the intention of the GPL is that if you copy the Haskell readline code 
> which is under the GPL and modify it, then the result will also be under the 
> GPL.

if the only copyright license granted for the Haskell-readline code is 
GPL (which sounds true), then it has to stay GPL.  If BSD was also given 
as permission (it's always possible to give more permissions for the 
parts of something that you hold the copyright to), then, no worries, 
Haskell-editline can be BSD.

In fact it sounds like
(1) we believe the Haskell-readline code is just released under the GPL
(2) we haven't even found concrete evidence that it was released with 
any Free license at all (although if it was released, it must be under a 
GPL-compatible license because it was made to link with GNU Readline, I 

The parts that cannot be written differently can be duplicated/copied 
anyway.  I would say that attribution is a good thing (e.g. just 
"inspired by the Haskell-readline package" if you're making sure not to 
be a copyright-law "derivative work").

Finding the author would be good if we could though, because she/he/they 
would most likely give us BSD permissions (just guessing :-)


More information about the Libraries mailing list