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Re: License copatibility GPLv3+ (w/ Autoconf Exc) AX_PTHREAD

From: Daniel Richard G.
Subject: Re: License copatibility GPLv3+ (w/ Autoconf Exc) AX_PTHREAD
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:42:06 -0500

Hello Hans,

The licensing of macros in the Autoconf Archive is explicitly intended
to allow use even by proprietary applications without license conflict,
as long as modifications to the macros themselves remain under copyleft
terms. You're not going to have any license issues from AX_PTHREAD

Not only is redistribution of the configure script's M4 sources
with your project (or Git repo) allowed, it is arguably required, as
distributing the "configure" script with no accompanying source files is
akin to distributing a compiled binary with no source.

Whatever challenges your project may have, this is not one of them :)



On Thu, 2017 Feb  9 14:14+0100, Hans Spath wrote:
> Hello,
> I need some help/advice to understand potential licensing issues with
> macros from the GNU autoconf archive.
> Specifically I'm interested in AX_PTHREAD, which is GPLv3+ with
> Autoconf Exception (GPLv3+wAE).
> As far as I understand it, I can put it in a local "m4/" directory,
> use it from "" and then generate a "configure" file. If I
> distribute a tarball that only contains "configure" but neither the
> "m4/" directory or any .ac file, there is no problem, no matter what
> the license of the rest of the project is.
> I have a project that mainly consists of GPLv2+, BSD, MIT and GPLv2-
> only(*) licensed code. Is my assumption correct that I can not provide
> tarballs that contain m4/ax_pthread.m4? Can I at least distribute
> and other GPLv2+ files in m4/? Or did the dependency on
> the now missing file taint my buildsystem to be GPLv3+wAE?
> Does it also mean that I can not put m4/ax_pthread.m4 in a publicly
> accessible git repository of that project?
> What would be your advice to deal with this situation?
> Alternatively, would you consider relicensing AX_PTHREAD under
> GPLv2+wAE (or an even more permissive license)?
> Regards
> Hans Spath
> (*: these files originate primarily from the linux kernel)

Daniel Richard G. || address@hidden
My ASCII-art .sig got a bad case of Times New Roman.

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