[Liboil] GPL code in liboil?

David Schleef ds at schleef.org
Sat Nov 5 20:15:32 PST 2005

On Sat, Nov 05, 2005 at 02:48:55PM +0100, Stephane Fillod wrote:
> 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". 

I understand.  This is why liboil was originally LGPL.  The Mozilla
project, X.org, and the Ogg/Theora/Vorbis projects have expressed
interest in using liboil, so I switched it to an MIT license to make
using it easier.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't mind having a LGPL (or even GPL)
section.  In order to avoid license confusion, the primary focus
is going to be the MIT license, and any add-on code will need to
figure out how to fit into that model.

I can think of two ways to handle LGPL code: one is to make a separate
liboil-lgpl package that contains all the LGPL-licensed code.  The
liboil-lgpl package would contain a liboil-lgpl-0.3.pc file and the
library would export a function liboil_lgpl_init(), which would call
liboil_init() as well as register all the LGPL implementations.

The other way is to make a liboil-lgpl package that would untar
over top of the liboil package, and enable compilation of additional
implementations.  There are a couple ways to do this; I'd leave
that up to the implementor.  Key point is that liboil-x.y.z.tgz
should only contain MIT or similarly licensed code.

I'm not in a big hurry to do any of this myself, but I'll take
patches and/or give CVS access to someone who wants to push a
liboil-lgpl module.  I still maintain that most of the implementations
are simple not copyrightable because they have little or no
expressive content.  They're merely the result of a lot of hard work
to figure out what sequence of goes fastest on a particular processor,
a process that isn't too far removed from calculating digits of pi.

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

No.  Er, um, yes.  Um, what was the question?


David Schleef
Big Kitten LLC (http://www.bigkitten.com/) -- data acquisition on Linux

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