[sane-devel] Please give me some help to solve the license issues in using sane

Olaf Meeuwissen olaf.meeuwissen at avasys.jp
Wed Jun 11 01:55:14 UTC 2008

Alessandro Zummo <azummo-lists at towertech.it> writes:

> On Wed, 11 Jun 2008 08:49:04 +0900
> Olaf Meeuwissen <olaf.meeuwissen at avasys.jp> wrote:
>> >  correct.
>> No so.  As per my reply to Johannes' mail:
>>   This depends on the respective license conditions of the free and
>>   non-free parts.  If all of the conditions are not mutually exclusive,
>>   then there is no problem license wise.  If even only two of the
>>   conditions are mutually exclusive, you have a license violation on
>>   your hands.
>>   The above goes for any kind of combination where multiple licenses
>>   are involved, not just when combining with GPL'd software.
>  clear. I was talking about a possible proprietary sane backend
>  scenario:
>  GPL backend + proprietary decoding libs. A manufacturer would choose
>  compatible terms for this case and it is not forbidden by the GPL.

There are two possibilities here:

 1) the non-free decoding libs are licensed under a GPL compatible
    license.  This means that you need to provide the source code
    and allow modification, redistribution and redistribution of
    modifications, making the decoding libs in effect mostly free.

 2) add an exception to the GPL which makes the backend no longer
    GPL'd (in the strict sense).

In either case, your scenario ceases to exist.

# If users are free to drop the exception to the GPL when making
# derived works, you could argue the backend is GPL'd, though.

Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen                   FLOSS Engineer -- AVASYS Corporation
FSF Associate Member #1962           sign up at http://member.fsf.org/

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