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Re: Automake and GPLv3

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: Automake and GPLv3
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 21:11:48 -0600
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According to Harlan Stenn on 8/29/2007 8:59 PM:
> This is the first I've seen on this thread.
> I have heard that GPLv3 is viral/invasive.

No more so than GPLv2 was, and hopefully less so.  That was part of the
reason GPLv3 went through such a long public review process.

> The short question I have is:
>  If automake/autoconf use GPLv3, will I be able to use them for packages
>  that are NOT GPLv3?

The goal is YES.  Remember, with autoconf 2.61 and automake 1.10, both
packages were released under GPLv2+, but were very explicit in providing a
disclaimer that third-party applications that used these packages to
generate ./configure files that did not have to be licensed as GPL, even
though ./configure contains many verbatim chunks copied from the
autotools.  The problem here is not that GPLv3 is worse than GPLv2, but
rather, how do we reword this exemption clause so that autoconf and
automake are released by GPLv3 but third party packages that use the
autotools are legally clear to not have to upgrade or swap to GPLv3.  And
if I understand correctly, the case we are most worried about is using
autotools on packages that use GPLv2, since it has already been determined
that, without the aid of exception clauses, GPLv2 and GPLv3 are legally

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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