Adding the GPL to Fluid license? - requesting input

Mara Hancock mara at
Thu Jan 10 16:59:45 UTC 2008

This is very interesting. I agree with Mark that this seems like an  
attempt to avoid the inevitable conflict between the licenses. I fear  
that it make the management of the code contributions so complicated  
that it will need a full time code gatekeeper. I came into the  
conversation late yesterday, but I thought  that Colin had some very  
concrete examples of why he thought this might be a good thing. It  
would be good to hear those. Right now I am on the -1 track but  
willing to be convinced otherwise. I would love to know the answer to  
the question about Moodle Rooms.

Thanks, Mara

On Jan 10, 2008, at 8:00 AM, Lennard Fuller wrote:

> Many of my clients specifically ask me to avoid GPL, some of that  
> set of
> clients will accept an LGPL if no other reasonable alternative exists.
> Oddly enough... over the last 7 years I have yet to have had a single
> client that has demanded the use of GPL exclusively.
> -Lennard Fuller
> Mark Norton wrote:
>> This sounds like an attempt to please all of the people all of the  
>> time.
>> The fact is there are some very different philosophies in the open
>> source community, primarily divided between those who favor  
>> commercial
>> use and those who don't. If Fluid is licensed (as it currently is)  
>> under
>> ECL 2.0, then the Sakai community will likely be satisfied, since  
>> it has
>> a more inclusive view of open source use. However, I suspect that  
>> those
>> in other camps will not be satisfied with a GPL license if it is also
>> licensed under ECL. What's the point, really?
>> Who specifically needs a GPL license for Fluid?
>> - Mark Norton
>> Sheila Crossey wrote:
>>> All,
>>> We are considering adding the GPL to the Fluid licensing scheme and
>>> are seeking input on the ramifications this would have.
>>> Refresher:
>>> Fluid is currently dual-licensed under ECL 2.0 and BSD licenses. The
>>> BSD license was selected to enable combining with GPL-licensed code
>>> (as BSD is deemed to be GPL compatible whereas ECL 2.0 is not) and  
>>> to
>>> avoid forking of the code (BSD is not copyleft so code licensed  
>>> under
>>> BSD can be merged into non-copyleft code).
>>> Issue:
>>> Some communities who license their code under the GPL will not adopt
>>> any third party code unless it also is licensed under GPL; that  
>>> is, a
>>> GPL-compatible license such as BSD does not solve the problem (even
>>> though technically, it should).
>>> Proposed solution:
>>> Tri-license Fluid under ECL 2.0, BSD, and GPL V2.
>>> GPL V3 was considered as an option, but rejected as there are some
>>> parties who have licensed a considerable body of code under GPL V2  
>>> and
>>> who will not move to GPL V3 as they have various objections to the  
>>> new
>>> terms. We can apply GPL V2 in a way that will permit the option of
>>> applying GPL V3 to those who wish to.
>>> Risk/Benefit:
>>> The benefit would be potentially increased penetration and usage of
>>> Fluid code.
>>> One risk is that GPL communities could license their modifications  
>>> to
>>> Fluid code solely under GPL thus creating a separate fork. The  
>>> chances
>>> of this happening could be reduced by publicizing this negative  
>>> impact
>>> of single-licensing under the GPL.
>>> A second risk is that communities who are concerned about the  
>>> effects
>>> of GPL’s copyleft terms might be uncomfortable adopting Fluid if the
>>> GPL is one of the licenses which apply to it. We need input from  
>>> Sakai
>>> regarding this.
>>> As there may be other risks arising from the increased complexity of
>>> tri-licensing and adding copyleft into the mix, I encourage anyone
>>> with expertise, or access to it, to weigh in on this.
>>> Sheila
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Sheila Crossey
>>> Senior Project Coordinator
>>> Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
>>> Faculty of Information Studies
>>> University of Toronto
>>> voice: (416) 946-7820
>>> fax: (416) 971-2896
>>> email: sheila.crossey at  
>>> <mailto:sheila.crossey at>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> fluid-work mailing list
>>> fluid-work at
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