[Liboil] GPL code in liboil?

Stephane Fillod f8cfe at free.fr
Sat Nov 5 05:48:55 PST 2005

On Wed, Nov 02, 2005 at 03:24:03PM -0800, David Schleef wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 02, 2005 at 11:47:32PM +0100, Stephane Fillod wrote:
> > I have some GPL'd code (which I wrote) that I'd like to see integrated
> > into liboil. This code is part of the GNU Radio project[1], and the FSF
> > holds the copyright by donation. Accelerated routines are mainly
> > dotproducts for MMX,3DNow!,3DNow!Ext,SSE under x86 and x86_64, and some
> > fast sine/cosine block computation. Some other code (not written by me)
> > covers Viterbi, Treillis,..
> > 
> > Since all this code is under a GNU Public License, and liboil license 
> > is a "Two-Clause BSD" license, how can this code be integrated?
> > Can the library be dual-licensed ?
> As I understand it, the FSF does not restrict you from releasing
> code that you wrote (and assigned to the FSF) under other licenses.
> However, this depends on the agreement you signed.

My concern is not about the FSF, I think it should be ok. It's about
the "Two-Clause BSD" license of liboil, too permissive to my taste.
Liboil is really promissing to my eyes (and yours as well :), and 
I'd like to contribute more, but the current license is holding me back.

> Assuming this is the case, you can contribute the code under the
> liboil license (or equivalent).  I am unwilling to allow code at
> this time that is only GPL licensed.  Maybe later.  However, I have
> a hard time believing that some of the implementations are even
> copyrightable, much less needing GPL-like protection.

Well, I had in mind a *LGPL* (or alike) to cover the code I'd like to
contribute. For example, I spent some good (spare) time optimizing 
the dotproduct code, and I'm concerned by eventual greedy people 
taking away that code closed source, not even saying "So long, and 
thanks for the fish". 
So it's not abouting owning the code, it's about making it Copyleft[1],
yet having the library usable by any open or closed source programs.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html#WhatIsCopyleft

Dave, would you reconsider the liboil licensing, or at least make it
mix-licensed for some optional LGPL-like parts of it?

I have another concern about external GPL code I didn't write, but I think 
it would fit in liboil. I may be able to convince the authors to relicense
as LGPL, but certainly not as a "Two-Clause BSD" license. The fact is most 
speedup code existing in open source programs that could be reused and 
factorized in liboil are not "Two-Clause BSD" license compatible.


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