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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-11-17 23:01:25

"Jaap Suter" <J.Suter_at_[hidden]> writes:

> Hi,
> I've been a Boost user for a while, both in my pet-projects and at
> companies I worked for. However, for the first time I'm working at a
> company where we are not allowed to use Boost because of legal
> issues. I remember seeing some discussions about the Boost licenses,
> but I couldn't find any definite statements in the archives.
> own license.
 ^----- is something missing here?

> Even though the Boost library submission guidelines specify a
> minimum set of requirements for licenses, those don't provide any
> legal ground to stand on. Probably, some legal departments don't
> want to sift through each and every source file to check the
> license, and they don't trust the library submission guidelines.

Yes, this is a problem that some of us, at least, realize we have.

> It if were up to me, I would create a fixed Boost license specifying
> the mimimum requirements, and explicitly putting that license in
> each source file. If, as a result, this would mean that some
> libraries have to be pulled out of Boost because they cannot comply
> to the license, then so be it.

I don't think that will happen. What I _hope_ will happen is that we
can reach a consensus on a common Boost license which most library
authors will voluntarily subscribe to. Other libraries would not be
rejected from the Boost collection, but we could provide an index of
libraries which are distributed under the Boost license.

> I would much rather be able to use some of Boost at work, than all
> of Boost nowhere. Possibly those (non-compliant) libraries could
> remain part of Boost but be located in seperate package, such that
> the core package has a unique license.

That sounds more like it.

> Like I said, that's only if it were up to me. Luckily it isn't up to
> me. I'm not a lawyer at all, so I might be completely wrong.

Well, that's the problem the rest of us have at the moment: we're not
lawyers either. Is there a license which meets the current Boost
guidelines and also "provides legal ground to stand on"? We don't
know. Maybe you could convince your company to provide some legal
advice about licenses, so that we can begin to solve this problem?

> In any case, my question is;
> What's the status on the Boost license debate?

I think it's dormant at the moment. I hope that rather than debating,
we can have some fruitful discussions about it.

Some questions I can ask of Boost library authors that I think will

1. If we come up with a core Boost license which complies with the
   current Boost guidelines, would you be willing to consider using it
   in order to enhance Boost's usability?

2. Are there any special requirements you have that would be have to
   be satisfied by a core Boost license in order for you to subscribe
   to it?

                       David Abrahams
   dave_at_[hidden] *
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