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Re: Questions about a special exception to the GPL

From: Andrew Haley
Subject: Re: Questions about a special exception to the GPL
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:56:18 -0000
User-agent: tin/1.9.2-20070201 ("Dalaruan") (UNIX) (Linux/ (x86_64))

Tassilo Horn <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a licensing question.  We have a java framework for model-driven
> development [1].  That framework is currently licensed as "GPLv2 or
> later".  In the last few years, we've encountered some difficulties with
> this licensing choice, because we face more and more needs to use that
> framework in applications built on the Eclipse platform, which uses the
> free but incompatible EPL license.
> So we are thinking about upgrading to GPLv3 (or later) with a custom
> exception, which might be like that:
>  Linking this library statically or dynamically with other modules is
>  making a combined work based on this library.  Thus, the terms and
>  conditions of the GNU General Public License cover the whole
>  combination.
>  As a special exception, the copyright holders of this library give you
>  permission to release your combined work using this library under any
>  free software license listed at
>  no matter if GPL-compatible or GPL-incompatible, unless you apply
>  modifications to the library's source code itself.
> Does that make sense?

I don't think so, since you have no idea what licences the FSF might
add in the future, and in theory might disappear altogether.
It surely makes more sense to dual-license your library, GPLv3 + EPL.


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