is it a GPL violation or not ?

Jerome Alet alet at
Sun Aug 25 08:33:41 UTC 2002


On Sat, Aug 24, 2002 at 11:27:08PM -0600, Richard Stallman wrote:
> It is a violation.

That's what I thought.

>       Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and 
>       its documentation for educational, research and non-profit purposes, 
> Because of that limitatin of purposes, the program is not even free
> software, let alone GPL-compatible.
> Please note that the term "BSD license" conceals significant
> variation.  The original BSD license was free, but incompatible with
> the GPL.  The revised BSD license is compatible with the GPL.  It is
> best to avoid the term "BSD license" to avoid risk of confusion.

OK. I thought it was BSD because in this case the copyright holders 
of the other software really are the Regents of the University of 
California, and so I read their license too quickly. 

The problematic software is ENV, part of the Grail project (Grid 
Computing), of the University of California San-Diego, available at : 

The "Download" page is problematic.

And my library is the Python GPLed module JAXML, available
from :

or from a Debian GNU/Linux installation : apt-get install jaxml

The "Installation" page of ENV explicitely states that JAXML is 
used, the code imports it unconditionnally. The latest tarball 
(0.9.3) doesn't contain any license, but explains that you must 
download and install JAXML (my module). 

Considering that ENV seems to be only a small part of a greater 
project, the domino effect could be interesting... 

The ENV author never answered to me when I contacted them, only 
their licensing officer (who I had CCed), who finally told me there 
was no problem with them continuing to distribute their software 
under this non-free license. 

During my first contact with them, some months ago, I already 
proposed them : 

  1 - Put their software under the GNU GPL : probably difficult.
  2 - Give me money to obtain another license for exclusive use 
      in this software : relatively easy.
  3 - Don't use my software at all : relatively easy.
It seems there's another possibility :        

  4 - Put their software under a GPL compatible license : probably 
Do you see other possibilities ?      

What do you think I should do ?

Thanks in advance

Jerome Alet

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