[Nagiosplug-devel] [Nagios-users] Licensing of Official and 3rd Party Plugins

Holger Weiss holger at CIS.FU-Berlin.DE
Thu Jan 10 15:35:13 CET 2008

* Thomas Guyot-Sionnest <dermoth at aei.ca> [2008-01-10 06:16]:
> On 10/01/08 04:37 AM, Hari Sekhon wrote:
> > Holger Weiss wrote:
> >> Personally, I'm somewhat annoyed by the various incompatible Open Source
> >> licenses floating around, as it they can make re-using code impossible
> >> in some cases.  As the GPLv3 is yet another license which is
> >> incompatible to everything else, I'm not really a fan of it.  I would
> >> prefer "GPLv2 or higher" licenses over "GPLv3-only", if possible.
> Incompatibilities among GPL license are only brought by "GPLvX-only"
> type of licenses. Programs and libraries using "GPLvX or higher" will
> always avoid compatibility problems among GPL licenses.

Which is why I prefer the latter over the former, but not all people do
it this way.  See the Linux kernel's license, for example.

> GPL is meant to be incompatible with other licenses. If you're worried
> about that you should use the BSD license

Yes, I personally do :-)

> but keep in mind that OSS wouldn't be nearly as strong as it is with
> BSD. Many companies contributing to OSS would just rip the code if it
> was under the BSD license.

That's the idea of the GPL and in some cases it definitely worked, but I
doubt this effect is really that strong in practice.  My guess would be
that most companies which don't want to (or cannot) contribute their
code to OSS won't be forced by the GPL to do so, they simply won't use
GPL code.

> > Thanks for the response, I think your points are valid. I'll continue to 
> > use a GPL version 2 or higher license in order to try to maintain 
> > compatibility and then I'll go GPLv3 when more people get in to it.
> That will likely change for the next release if we update Gnulib to the
> latest version, as they bumped their license to GPL v3.

I thought so, too, but I checked before my other posting and most of
Gnulib is actually LGPL'd, despite the headers in the C files:

| Many modules are provided dual-license, either GPL or LGPL at your
| option.  The headers of files in the lib directory (e.g., lib/error.c)
| state GPL for convenience, since the bulk of current gnulib users are
| GPL'd programs.  But the files in the modules directory (e.g.,
| modules/error) state the true license of each file, and when you use
| 'gnulib-tool --lgpl --import <modules>', gnulib-tool either rewrites
| the files to have an LGPL header as part of copying them from gnulib
| to your project directory, or fails because the modules you requested
| were not licensed under LGPL.

[ http://git.sv.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=gnulib.git;a=blob_plain;f=COPYING ]

AFAICS, we're currently not using any of the GPL-only Gnulib files.

Anyway, if you (or others) would like to upgrade to GPLv3, I'm perfectly
fine with that.  I just stated my personal preference, but the license
question isn't important to me.


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