[kramdown-users] kramdown license

Jim Gay jim at saturnflyer.com
Mon Mar 15 15:29:40 EDT 2010

On Mar 13, 2010, at 1:11 PM, Jim Gay wrote:

> On Mar 13, 2010, at 7:45 AM, Thomas Leitner wrote:
>> On Sat, 13 Mar 2010 12:32:19 +0100, Thomas Leitner wrote:
>>> On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 15:56:41 -0500, Jim Gay wrote:
>>>> On Mar 12, 2010, at 3:05 PM, Thomas Leitner wrote:
>>>>> On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 09:47:15 -0500, Jim Gay wrote:
>>>>>> Under what license is kramdown provided?
>>>>>> We're looking to include it in RadiantCMS which uses the MIT
>>>>>> license.
>>>>> kramdown is licensed under the GPLv3, see the COPYING file in the
>>>>> distribution.
>>>> Thanks. If I'm understanding this correctly, as long as we are
>>>> distributing verbatim copies and including the license for kramdown
>>>> we've got nothing to worry about with regard to the distribution
>>>> under MIT. Can you tell me if I'm correct?
>>> I can't really tell you since I'm not a lawyer ;-) However, I found
>>> [this article (and the comments)][1] and it seems that this is allowed
>>> by the GPL as long as you don't modify the source but just use it.
>> After some more research I found that some other web sites say that
>> this is only possible if RadiantCMS is distributed under the GPL.
>> So I suggest that you contact the FSF and ask them - they should
>> know!
> I've just done that, thanks. I'll reply back with their answer if I get one.
> As the holder of the copyright, would you be willing to provide permission to bundle the software into Radiant regardless of the legal opinion on GPL + MIT?
> -Jim

For anyone interested, the answer seems to be that bundling GPL code is no problem, except for those that want to take the project and distribute a proprietary version with the GPL code intact.

Begin forwarded message:

> Jim,
> I'm assuming that the "MIT license" you're talking about is the one we
> call the Expat license, at <http://www.jclark.com/xml/copying.txt>.  If
> that's the case, then yes, you can release a program that uses a
> GPL-covered library under this license.  The Expat license is
> GPL-compatible (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/#Expat), and our
> FAQ explains that when you distribute a program that uses a GPLed
> library, you may do so using a GPL-compatible license
> (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html/#IfLibraryIsGPL).
> Please note that distribution of the combined program will still be
> subject to the GPL's terms.  In other words, people won't be able to
> distribute a proprietary version of the combined program, even though
> the Expat license allows it, because the GPL would prohibit it. 
> However, people who do not combine your program with any GPL-covered
> libraries may be able to use all of the permissions granted by the Expat
> license.
> Best regards,
> -- 
> Brett Smith
> Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation

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