[License-discuss] Intimacy in open source (SSPL and AGPL)

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Wed Jan 23 06:26:27 UTC 2019

On Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 9:14 PM John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 7:10 PM Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:
> As far as I can tell, if I create a one-line shell script that pipes a
> proprietary program (say, Windows NET PRINT, whose output is not documented
> anywhere, I've just eyeballed it) into a GPL-licensed program, say GNU sed,
> I have created a work in which the proprietary part is in "intimate data
> communication" with the GPL program, and so I can't do that.

I don't believe that anyone seriously proposes that to be true.

> And if I can, nobody at the FSF will tell me so, because they want to
> reserve the right to sue me till my eyes bubble.

It's not fair to blame FSF for what the court did in an entirely unrelated
case. Nor is it fair to say that FSF wants to sue you until your eyes
bubble. FSF hasn't brought many lawsuits, I can think of only one, and the
company that they brought it against conducted itself as poorly as
possible, including to me personally when I reached out to *help *them.

SFC brings more lawsuits. Having helped to represent the defendants, I know
that if you are going to be sued by anyone, you'd want it to be SFC. They
let one of my customers off of the hook for just *trying* to comply, and
although they *can *ask for damages, I've not seen them ask for significant

And this from an organization that has backed itself so far into a corner
> that an LGPL3 library can be linked (in a relinkable way) with purely
> proprietary code, but if if you want to link it with a GPLv2-only program,
> something which in no way undermines the purposes of free software,
> _that's_ not allowed.

This is the result of people who removed the "and any later version"
statement, not anyone at FSF. I'd hazard a guess that FSF hasn't done that
to their own software.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20190122/7ad44679/attachment.html>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list