[Ecls-list] License again (Was: Build cleanups...)

Juan Jose Garcia Ripoll jlr at mpq.mpg.de
Mon Mar 28 23:01:50 UTC 2005

Julian Stecklina wrote:

>Autoconf and friends are black magic to me. ;) But I am just reading the
>ECL license for the first time: 
>The upper part seems to be a BSD/MIT-style license, with the GPL after
>"Additionally". This makes the license status unclear to me. GPL would
>mean (to me, I am no lawyer) that my programs that link to libecl.so
>must be distributed under the GPL as well. Am I mistaken?
The BSD license was there because of the Tcl/Tk component, which is no 
longer supported. It will be eventually removed. The LGPL is the actual 
license of ECL.

Notice that it is LGPL (Lesser GPL, Library GPL, or whatever people use 
to call it). That means, GPL does not propagate to your programs, but 
you should distribute binaries that can can be compiled against newer 
versions of the library, together with the source code of any 
improvements you made on ECL to build your program.

I spoke long ago in this forum about the possibility of changing the 
license. At that time I contacted at least one of the previous authors 
and he would not change the license to a more liberal one, but rather to 
one of these Creative Common, which is closer to GCL as it forces you to 
distribute the source code of your program as well. On the other hand, 
he would not support paranoid interpretations of the LGPL that infect 
all your lisp code -- which is what some people here fear.


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