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Minutes from 2006/02/28 meeting

by novalis last modified 2006-03-07 15:37

David Turner, FSF
Mark Doliner, Gaim
Richard Fontana, SFLC
Daniel Scales, Choate, Hall & Stewart
James Blackwell, Bazaar-NG
Don Armstrong
Tomislav Medak
David Rickerby
Jean-Baptiste Soufron

David Turner coordinating by consensus
Last week's minutes passed by consensus.

New members:
Masayuki Hatta approved.
Mike Nordell approved.

Terje Braten requested to speak at this meeting; we invited him to do

David Turner made some comments on making bindings for GPL libraries for incompatible interpreters.  There was some discussion of this. The following is now posted as #924; some committee members wanted to make comments within the comment system.

I think the major components/system library exception should permit all interpreter bindings. It may be that it already does; experts I have spoken to have disagreed. Let's say there's some GPL library -- libfoo. People want to access libfoo from Java, from PHP, and from all manner of proprietary and GPL-incompatibly-licensed languages. Even though the interpreters for these languages are non-free, free software can still be written in the languages. I propose that any GPL library ought to be allowed to link against one of these interpreters to the extent necessary to expose the library functionality in the language. Now, this isn't a general-purpose loophole, because it won't allow just any linking. Only bindings. And when code uses the library through the bindings, it will still have to be GPL. So, I don't think this weakens copyleft any. The counter-argument is that interpreters themselves are an area of competition, and that use of GPL libraries is a point on which they can compete. There are also complexities here related to the GPL as it is used in the broader movement. Very few licensors complain about PHP bindings, because PHP is free (even though it is not GPL-compatible due to a old-BSD-style advertising clause in the Zend Engine license, and the concensus is that the GPL should not be changed to make it compatible). Committee D has further comments which will be posted below this.

Proposed new members:
Roberto di Cosmo (Soufroun) and Rowan Wilson (Turner).  Fontana wants to talk to Moglen about this first.


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