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Re: Autoconf Archive Licensing

From: Peter Simons
Subject: Re: Autoconf Archive Licensing
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 17:15:20 +0200

Hi guys,

thank you for the feedback on this issue. I will contact the authors of
the LGPL macros and try to convince them to re-license their work under
a less restrictive license. In the past, such efforts have been pretty
successful. If we're lucky, we can remedy the problem entirely that way.

I'll Cc the e-mails to this list to keep everyone in the loop.

Reuben Thomas wrote:

 > If you do [not] manage to get 100% GPL(-compatible): [encourage]
 > clean-room reimplementations of the problematic macros; many of them
 > fail to take advantage of other macros in the collection and could
 > have new shorter implementations. Also (and perhaps more motivating)
 > encourage redesigned replacements. Plenty of the macros are
 > over-specific and could usefully be generalised. Two distributions
 > (GPL and LGPL) might well make most sense for starters.

yes, this is true. The whole issue could generate some momentum towards
much improved replacements for those macros that cause problems.

Francesco Salvestrini wrote:

 > We could (maybe) soften the edges of the problem in one of the
 > following ways:
 > 1) Using an _AX_MACRO_LICENSE into each macro, e.g.:
 >     ...
 > And a AX_PACKAGE_LICENSE macro into the user
 > The AX_PACKAGE_LICENSE could do license checking for the user
 > (AC_MSG_ERROR for a bad mix).

I like this idea very much. I'm not quite sure how complex the
underlying implementation would be, but it's probably not too bad. Maybe
that kind of conflict-detection mechanism ought to be incorporated into

 > 2) Enhancing the LICENSE tag as 'LICENSE <LICENSE>' into each file, e.g:
 > #
 > #

Yes, this is something I've been thinking about for a while. Right now,
every macro comes with a complete license disclaimer. That is a lot of
redundancy, and those disclaimers are not particularly easy to recognize
and manipulate in code either.

Take care,

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