bugGNU gettext - Bugs: bug #56863, gettext.h license is viral

 
 

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bug #56863: gettext.h license is viral

Submitted by:  Petr Pisar <petrp>
Submitted on:  Fri 06 Sep 2019 08:30:53 AM UTC  
 
Category:  Programmer interface Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  None Status:  In Progress
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  Bruno Haible <haible>
Open/Closed:  Open

Sun 02 Feb 2020 08:18:07 PM UTC, comment #3: 

> I recommend you asking Free Software Foundation for help. I think they should be able to provide a qualified answer.


I have asked the Free Software Foundation (in September 2019). But it takes them a long time to provide a qualified answer.

Bruno Haible <haible>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 02 Feb 2020 06:22:33 PM UTC, comment #2: 

I'm not aware of any such standard. I know only about another project with a similar exception and that is Libtool.

LGPL allows including LGPL-licensed header files into other code without enforcing LGPL conditions, but there are constrains what such header file can contain. Especially there is a limit of 10 lines for the inline functions. If I look at dcpgettext_expr() definition I can count 28 lines.

I'm not a layer. I recommend you asking Free Software Foundation for help. I think they should be able to provide a qualified answer.

Petr Pisar <petrp>
Fri 31 Jan 2020 09:00:44 PM UTC, comment #1: 

Is there a standard for this sort of exception that applies to alternatives to Autoconf as well?

Or perhaps it would be better to use the same license as libintl.h? (LGPL?)

pastdue
Fri 06 Sep 2019 08:30:53 AM UTC, original submission:  

Gettext manual recommends copying gettext.h from Gettext into a gettextized software and including it from the software sources. This has the consequence that the resulting executable contains gettext.h code and this is subject to gettext.h license.

gettext.h reads:

   This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
   the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or
   (at your option) any later version.

That means that any software that follow this procedure must obey to the GPL license. This is pretty inconvenient, especially for software that uses a different license, e.g. LGPL.

A similar issue has already been raised seven years ago <https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gettext/2012-09/msg00000.html> without any answer.

What's your opinion? Would you be so kind and change the gettext.h license to something more compatible, e.g. GPLv3 with an exception clause as used in Many autotools files? E.g. config.sub looks like:

# This file is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
# under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
#
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
# WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU
# General Public License for more details.
#
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program; if not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
#
# As a special exception to the GNU General Public License, if you
# distribute this file as part of a program that contains a
# configuration script generated by Autoconf, you may include it under
# the same distribution terms that you use for the rest of that
# program.  This Exception is an additional permission under section 7
# of the GNU General Public License, version 3 ("GPLv3").

Petr Pisar <petrp>

 

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    Follow 3 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2019-09-14 haible CategoryOther => Programmer interface
        StatusNone => In Progress
        Assigned toNone => haible

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