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Re: GPL violation? (Was: v1.6 Enhanced SNACC Freeware)

debacle@xxxxxxxxxx writes:
>[Resent mail, because I wasn't on the mailing lists.]
>On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 08:38:16PM +0000, W. Borgert wrote:
>> One question about the license: The original SNACC software
>> has been released by it's authors under the terms of the GNU
>> General Public License.  I am not a lawyer, but if I
>> understand the GNU GPL correctly, you cannot change the
>> license or apply an arbitrary license to a GPL software, if
>> you are not the author/copyright holder.  The GPL also
>> covers any new code by you, that is linked with SNACC
>> ("derived work").  How does your license relate to the GNU
>> GPL?  Is the license change legally OK?

Wow, I hadn't realised that SNACC was released under the GPL.
eSNACC looks like a derivative work to me (IANAL).
So it looks to me like eSNACC violates the GPL.
This would be a great pity because I think the world needs
a decent ASN.1 environment that does not prohibit commercial
development, and eSNACC is definately getting there.

I note that a long while ago an annoucement was made that SNACC
was considered to be an orphan project and appeals were made
for someone to adopt SNACC. No-one did. Then sometime later
I found out about eSNACC which whilst clearly related to SNACC,
does not (AFAIK) consider itself to be adopting SNACC.
But I'm sure there is a lot of common code, and there's the original
SNACC manual.

I hope that eSNACC can continue, maybe under the LGPL.
After all, it seems to me that it is a bit like using GCC on a
commercial project. GCC makes special provision (IIRC) for
projects that compile with GCC such that they are not
considered to be deriative works. Maybe we need something
similar so that people can compile and parse ASN.1 without
their program being considered a derivate work. Then eSNACC
can safely be considered a derivate of SNACC without harm
because it won't stop people using it as one uses GCC.
The API could be considered to be on a par with using the
STL that comes with GCC.


Andrew Marlow
There is an emerald here the size of a plover's egg!