[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Does using automake+autoconf require my project to be GPL'ed?

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: Does using automake+autoconf require my project to be GPL'ed?
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 19:58:04 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


* almkglor wrote on Mon, Mar 09, 2009 at 02:45:09PM CET:
> I'm building an open-source project that is currently under a permissive MIT
> license.  Since the project is getting complex, I'm thinking of using
> Automake+Autoconf to help handle portability.


> What I'd like to know is, does using Automake+Autoconf require me to
> license distributions built using them with the GPL?

No, it doesn't, as was already mentioned.

> From what I could glean, it's not necessary, provided I write my own
> "".  The other files auto-produced by `automake --foreign
> --add-missing' seem to have a clause saying something about distributing
> them under a different license.

The `missing' script should do so, too.  The current git Automake
version of this script contains this:

  # As a special exception to the GNU General Public License, if you
  # distribute this file as part of a program that contains a
  # configuration script generated by Autoconf, you may include it under
  # the same distribution terms that you use for the rest of that program.

This statement has been added in 2001 already, and all of the `missing'
scripts from GNU Automake since then have it.

> I'd just like confirmation, because I've tried searching "automake license",
> "autoconf license", "autoconf permissive license" etc. and can't find a
> definitive "You must absolutely use GPL for your package" or "You can use
> any license for your package" or "You can use any GPL-compatible license for
> your package".

We are in the process of moving to GPLv3+ plus exceptions.  The
lawyerese process for rewriting the exception specification is not fully
done yet, which is why Autoconf 1.10 has been released with GPLv2+ plus
exception.  But the intent is that distributing packages that are built
through normal use of autotools is not limited (you could even use a
proprietary license).

Of course, as always with legal advice, I have to add that I am not a
lawyer, nor is there likely to be one on this list who will and can give
you binding advice; so if that's what you're looking for, then you need
to ask one.

Hope that helps.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]