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GPL Exception for BSD, Apache, X11 etc?

triviantrivian Member Thorvald NatvigOrganization: MumbleProject: Mumble

I'm the author of Mumble (Main Page - Mumble). We're currently using DBus for RPC, but it's not as portable as we'd like, so we're looking at alternatives.

From what I've read so far, ICE looks to solve all our problems. However, our application is licensed under the BSD license, and as such we would have to relicense to GPL to use ICE. This poses a problem, as we use code from other project, many of which are BSD, and if we switch to GPL, we'd no longer be able to contribute back code to those projects. We also want other people, commercial or opensource, to be able to use the code we have written in their own applications, something that's not possible under the GPL.

One of the building blocks in Mumble is Qt, which is GPL licensed. However, Trolltech has added a GPL exception for a long list of opensource licenses, meaning that it practice it can be used by any programs whose sourcecode is freely available. If someone wants to fork a commercial version of an application, they'll also need to pay for commercial licenses of the libraries.

Could a similar exception be applied to ICE?


  • bernardbernard Jupiter, FLAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Bernard NormierOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: Ice ZeroC Staff
    Hi Thorvald,

    Ice certainly looks like a superior solution, however the Ice GPL license does not provide an exception for BSD and similar open-source projects. The recommended license for any Ice-based open-source project is GPL.

    It's not really clear to me why GPL is not suitable for your software; in fact, according to your Sourceforge Project Summary page, Mumble is released under GPL.

    Also, we prefer to discuss licensing by email; please follow-up by sending me an email.

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