[License-discuss] GPL linking exceptions

Felix Krause flyx at isobeef.org
Mon Jul 2 16:48:57 UTC 2012

Hi everyone,

does a linking exception to the GPL require approval, or may a software be called open source whenever it is licensed under the GPL, even when the publisher grants the user additional rights?

There are some licenses around that add a linking exception to the GPL. The one I use is the GNAT Modified GPL [1]; but there are also others like the exception in the license of the GNU Classpath project [2]. Both licenses are not mentioned on the OSI site.

I think the core question is, does adding a linking exception to the GPL create a completely new license (which would need approval as open source license), or does it still count as licensed under the GPL and thus open source?

I think it would be a good thing if this question was answered by the FAQ.


[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNAT_Modified_General_Public_License
[2]: http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/license.html

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