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Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 23:12:42 -0500
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: License survey

Hey everyone,

Lately there's been a lot of discussion on IRC about license issues,
starting with Rob Landley's diatribe about acceptance on Android
systems, and subsequent conversations on similar topics. While musl is
almost entirely code I've written and I'm not prepared to make any
immediate changes, I'd like to hear from anyone in the community
that's built up so far around musl as to what your views on licensing
are and whether you'd want to see any changes in how musl is licensed.
Some questions to think about:

Which is more important, copyleft or widespread usage of musl?

Which copyleft issue(s) matter most: ensuring the project gets access
to third-party improvements, protecting users' rights to study and
reverse engineer, or protecting users' rights to access the code and
make source-level modifications?

Is it important to have a license where the official distribution is
not privileged over third-party redistributions? (For example, LGPL
with an exception that allowed unlimited use of the library in
unmodified form would privilege me over third parties, since I would
be the only one who gets to decide what goes in the "unmodified"
version. Various commercial Open Source licenses have this issue, and
I believe even glibc's LGPL exception has this issue.)

Is the LGPL's handling of static linking problematic to you?

Are there other devil-in-the-details issues with the LGPL that you see
as problematic from a practical perspective of deploying musl? (Things
like technical issues making source available, informing the recipient
of their rights, etc.)

What would be your ideal license to see musl under?


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