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[Mingw-cross-env-list] License issue / dependencies on OpenSSL

From: Lothar May
Subject: [Mingw-cross-env-list] License issue / dependencies on OpenSSL
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 21:46:10 +0100


I understand that the strategy of the MinGW cross compiling
environment is to fulfill as many dependencies as possible so that the
libs can be used generally by many different programs. However, I'm
having a bit of a license issue due to this.

As OpenSSL is not compatible to the GPL on Windows systems (see
http://www.openssl.org/support/faq.html#LEGAL2), it is generally not
allowed to link GPL software to OpenSSL on Windows, if there is not a
specific exception. However, if I build a GPL application with
mingw-cross-env, chances are very high that due to some dependency I
link to OpenSSL and therefore violate the GPL, even though I don't
actually need the OpenSSL code.

Example: Currently, the only supported way to build PokerTH for
Windows is using mingw-cross-env. License of PokerTH is GPL2 or later,
without exceptions. While we authors are "allowed" to create a Windows
build that way, other users would theoretically be forced to disable
OpenSSL dependencies, because PokerTH links with Qt, which is built
with OpenSSL support included.

How could this issue be solved? Could there maybe be an option to
disable dependencies to libraries which are not GPL compatible?

Best regards,

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