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Subject:
From:
Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 8 Jan 1998 08:03:21 -0500
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There have been many threads about Ada modifications to the
copyleft Library License so that you can re-use the source
code "Libraries" instead of just the object code "Libraries".
This part is very popular.

There is an additional desire to have perpetual copyleft,
where all modifications must also be copyleft, so that code
remains Free, and commercial companies can use it, must
not charge for the Free code or any modifications made
to the Free code. This part is not very popular.

It might be helpful for somebody to summarize the net
addresses of the existing Free code licenses and what
kind of Free reuse they permit and what kind of conversion
from Free to non-Free they permit.

This is a good time, since this thread will probably
result in a code being submitted to this newly formed
Ada community, and the submitters will want to know
that they will still have access to their code in the
future, whether they go commercial, or remain free coders.

Truth be told, the existing government users and the
existing commercial establishment would also be
interested in this information.

(1) Is it legal for a commercial company to mix Free code
with developed code? If so, what is the status of
the combined code? How does that protect the Free code from
becoming, say, non-Free?

(2) If a government agency mixes Free code with developed
code, what is the status of the mixed code? How does that
protect the Free code from, say, becoming classified?

(3) If a commercial company does not mix Free code and developed
code, but copies a Free library and compiles developed code
against that non-generic Free library, what is the status
of the non-mixed code, combined code? How does that
protect the Free code from becoming non-Free?

(4) When you combine code either by mixing as in (1) or by
compiling against a library (3) do you have to put the
Free code and the developed code into two separate directories
or something to manage their different status? If you dont,
and Free code becomes non-Free, who can sue for infringement
of the Free license? Or would it be a criminal offense against
a licensing or coypright law?

(5) None of these things affect the original Free licensing
stucture, since Mr S has repeatedly emphasized that Free
refers only to C object code. The Ada modification specifically
makes Ada source code Free and reusable, but the above
questions have been repeately skirted in past threads about
what the licenses permit and what they do not, which has the
result that Ada source code reuse is seldom done, and when it is done,
the code sometimes becomes non-Free.

Mike Brenner

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