From: Jonathan Wakely (cow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-06-03 03:58:57
On Wed, Jun 02, 2004 at 11:42:24PM -0500, David B. Held wrote:
> "Stefan Seefeld" <seefeld_at_[hidden]> wrote in message
> > [...]
> > They certainly allow proprietary software to use GSL. What they
> > don't want is people extending their work (and that's how they
> > would look at a boost wrapper) be able to distribute that work
> > under less free terms than what GPL provides
> > (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).
> > Note that the operative term here is 'distribute', not 'use'.
> > If you don't distribute you don't need to look into license issues.
> > [...]
> So are you saying that Boost could produce a GSL wrapper,
> distribute it independently, and ask users to obtain GSL
Yes. A wrapper around GSL would not violate the licence, although it
might have to be written from within the European Union. EU law says
that the public interface (i.e. the header files and the prototypes they
contain) are not protected by copyright law, so you can read the headers
and write code that uses the interface without having to comply to the
This is from http://eu.conecta.it/paper/Open_source_copyright_law.html:
The rationale is that the header contains only information about the
access points to the routines, and provides no information on the
inner workings of the software. This allows open source developers
to recreate a compatible version of any library or component for
which a header file is available.
This applies equally to commercial libraries and to copylefted (GPL) ones.
There was a discussion about this on advogato.org recently, but that
site's down so here's the google cache version: http://tinyurl.com/2hmx2
-- "The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." - H.L. Mencken
Boost list run by bdawes at acm.org, gregod at cs.rpi.edu, cpdaniel at pacbell.net, john at johnmaddock.co.uk