[Box Backup] GNU readline licence issue

Ben Summers boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Tue, 14 Dec 2004 11:41:36 +0000

On 14 Dec 2004, at 11:27, Martin Ebourne wrote:

> Hi,
>> From something mentioned on another list I've found that GNU readline 
>> is
> licensed under the GPL, not the LGPL as you might have expected:
> http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/php/chet/readline/rltop.html
> This would appear to cause problems with linking against Box Backup 
> because
> box is using the original BSD licence, which is considered to be an
> incompatible licence by the FSF. There is a modified BSD licence which 
> is
> considered compatible, which would be one way of resolving this:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html
> Another way would be to use an alternative to GNU readline. libedit 
> would
> appear to be a possibility which is used in the BSD world (NetBSD
> especially). I've not seen it used in the linux world though.

Whoops. That's a bit of a mistake.

However, since the source distribution does not include readline and 
does not link to it, there may not be a problem. If you try and 
distribute a binary which links to it, there is a problem, but this is 
an issue for packagers and distributors, not for me.

Is that correct?

Of course, I respect the right of programmers to release their work 
under any license they want, so if that isn't the case, I will remove 
readline support from the next version.