Opened 7 years ago

Closed 7 years ago

Last modified 7 years ago

#15309 closed defect (cantfix)

legalize OpenSSL!

Reported by: zooko Owned by: rekkanoryo
Milestone: Component: unclassified
Version: 2.10.6 Keywords:


According to comment:3:ticket:15308, some contributors have said they will not agree to relicence pidgin away from GPL. However, have you asked those contributors if they would be willing to add an exception which allows people to use pidgin with OpenSSL? Such an exception clause to the GPL has been recommended for certain cases (namely, a different code base, Qt) by the Free Software Exception:

And several projects (including one that I maintain -- Tahoe-LAFS) apply such an exception to GPL in order to allow combination of that project with OpenSSL. Another project that does this is wget:

Such an exception to GPL allow combination with OpenSSL has been recommended on the debian-legal mailing list:

To do this, ask the contributors if they would be okay with adding the following text to the licensing:

As a special exception, you have permission to link this program with the OpenSSL library and distribute executables, as long as you follow the requirements of the GNU GPL in regard to all of the software in the executable aside from OpenSSL.

I don't know if using OpenSSL would make things better or easier, but it would be nice if developers had the option of using OpenSSL and weren't hindered by an unnecessary legal barrier.

Change History (2)

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by deryni

  • Resolution set to cantfix
  • Status changed from new to closed

The number of contributors to pidgin at this point is too great to even begin the task of asking them all for permission. As an example of this during the recent migration to mercurial an attempt was made at finding names and contact information for the various people who have been recorded as supplying code to pidgin in our repository history. It wasn't completed because too many of the names were hard-to-impossible to track down.

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by deryni

Were pidgin being started today such an exception might be included but that's not the state of things.

Additionally, some users/packagers of libpurple have made the claim that the 'OS components' exemption in the GPL applies to OpenSSL on some platforms and as such are using OpenSSL for their libpurple ssl needs. This isn't, however, a decision that the pidgin developers necessarily agree with (though I don't believe we disagree with it either) but in either case it isn't something that we support as a statement for the project.

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