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Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 23:00:44 -0800
From: Isaac Dunham <>
Subject: Re: License survey

On Sat, 18 Feb 2012 23:12:42 -0500
Rich Felker <> wrote:

> 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?

For me, the main issue is whether the libc can be used in production of any binary. I don't see non-copyleft as necessary. 

Sabotage is completely static, so currently, you cannot legally distribute binaries for quite a few programs.

My own pick would be what FreePascal does: LGPL + static linking exception.
But I would like a license that says you need not worry about the libc license when distributing binaries linked against it.
As far as "official distributions" go, I would suggest that if you bother with such exceptions, you allow any distributor of your code or modified code to offer the same exception.
("If you did not modify the code from the version you received, and the version you received is pulicly available, you may refer the recipient to the place at which it is available instead of providing source.")
This basically covers those distributing binaries based on a distro's modified version.

Of course all exceptions may be dropped by a redistributor/fork.

By the way: tre has switched to BSD license, at NetBSD's request...
Isaac Dunham <>

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