To follow up for the web archives, I chatted with Cisco legal about
this and they were fine with it.
On Apr 21, 2009, at 3:12 PM, Jeff Squyres (jsquyres) wrote:
> IANAL and don't understand most of what is listed below.
> If the GNU Autotools go to GPL3, will we be unable to upgrade beyond
> the last versions that are GPL2? I see the phrase "we still want to
> allow people to distribute the normal output of Autoconf under any
> license they want", but I'm wondering if Cisco will be afraid of
> I think I'll need to ask Cisco's lawyers about this. Can others ask
> their corporate overlords as well?
> Begin forwarded message:
> > From: "Ralf Wildenhues" <Ralf.Wildenhues_at_[hidden]>
> > Date: April 21, 2009 2:46:37 PM EDT
> > To: <autoconf_at_[hidden]>, <automake_at_[hidden]>, <libtool_at_[hidden]>, <autotools-announce_at_[hidden]
> > >
> > Subject: RFC: proposed GPLv3 license exception draft
> > Reply-To: <autoconf_at_[hidden]>
> > [ cross-posted to several groups; please followup on the autoconf
> > list ]
> > In order to complete the GNU Project's migration to GPLv3, every GNU
> > program that has exceptions to its license needs to have those
> > exceptions updated for GPLv3. We've prepared draft text for an
> > updated
> > version of the Autoconf exception, and we're interested in hearing
> > your
> > feedback on it.
> > The primary purpose of this update is to have the exception build on
> > top
> > of the framework for Additional Permissions that GPLv3 provides in
> > section 7. We are not trying to change the exception's underlying
> > policy: we still want to allow people to distribute the normal
> > output of
> > Autoconf under any license they want. However, the new draft does
> > to address new issues that have come up since the current GPLv2-
> > exception was written.
> > The new exception grants people permission to distribute Eligible
> > Output
> > Material under terms of their choice. In short, Eligible Output
> > Material is a more formally defined way of talking about the
> > "configure
> > scripts" that are the subject of the old GPLv2-based exception. One
> > change of note is that it is defined to explicitly exclude tracing
> > output, to prevent people from using that mechanism to be able to
> > distribute more source under the terms of the exception than they
> > supposed to be able to. If anyone causes Autoconf to output stuff
> > that
> > is not Eligible Output Material, then they will not be able to take
> > advantage of the exception: they would have to distribute the
> > configure
> > scripts under the terms of GPLv3 alone.
> > Another benefit of the new exception is that it is not FSF-
> specific in
> > any way. When other copyright holders make modified versions of
> > Autoconf, they can apply the exact same permission text to their
> > changes, and it will work the way people want.
> > We hope that this new exception will help make Autoconf's
> licensing a
> > little more clear and robust -- if also a little more verbose -- in
> > the
> > same way that GPLv3 has done for the entire free software
> > community. We
> > are interested in hearing feedback from Autoconf developers about
> > whether there might be intended good uses of the software that are
> > covered by this exception -- or conversely, known bad uses of the
> > software that might be covered. We're also interested in hearing if
> > there are particular parts of the text that you think might be
> > misunderstood by developers: it may not always be possible, but we'd
> > like for this exception to be as clear as possible to as many people
> > as
> > possible. If you're interested, please review the text and let us
> > know
> > what you think.
> > Below is the text of the proposed exception.
> > Thanks to Brett Smith for help in preparing this message.
> > --- cut ---
> > This Exception is an additional permission under section 7 of the
> > General Public License, version 3 ("GPLv3").
> > The purpose of this Exception is to allow distribution of Autoconf's
> > typical output under terms of the recipient's choice (including
> > proprietary).
> > 0. Definitions
> > "Covered Code" is any source code and/or object code of Autoconf
> > that is a
> > covered work under this License.
> > "Eligible Output Material" is Covered Code that is included in the
> > standard, minimally verbose, non-debugging and non-tracing output of
> > the
> > version of Autoconf distributed to you under this License.
> > "Eligible Output Material" may be comprised only of Covered Code
> > that (a)
> > must necessarily appear in Autoconf-generated configure scripts and
> > (b) is
> > required for those configure scripts to function.
> > "Ineligible Output Material" is Covered Code that is not Eligible
> > Output
> > Material.
> > 1. Grant of Additional Permission.
> > You have permission to propagate output of Autoconf, even if such
> > propagation would otherwise violate the terms of GPLv3. However, if
> > you
> > cause Autoconf to output any Ineligible Output Material, you do not
> > have
> > permission to convey the resulting covered work under this Exception
> > and
> > you must remove this Exception in accordance with the second
> > paragraph of
> > GPLv3's Section 7.
> > 2. No Weakening of Autoconf Copyleft.
> > The availability of this Exception does not imply any general
> > presumption
> > that third-party software is unaffected by the copyleft requirements
> > of
> > the license of Autoconf.
> > --- cut ---
> Jeff Squyres
> Cisco Systems
> devel mailing list