[opam-devel] Opam license bug

Anil Madhavapeddy anil at recoil.org
Tue Jan 19 14:57:24 GMT 2016

On 19 Jan 2016, at 14:52, Mark Shinwell <mshinwell at janestreet.com> wrote:
> For what reason would it be impractical to relicense under a BSD
> licence?  (I don't really understand your statement in conjunction
> with what Thomas writes, for example.)

We are unlikely to reach such a consensus on this thread. The only scenario under which that works is for OCamlPro to apply the CLA (they can't as its broken) or for Roberto to agree (which he has indicated he won't).

More generally, it's just difficult for a project that's several years old to do this sort of change.

> When you write about the Consortium, I assume you meant that not only
> the Consortium not only hold the CLA but also include OPAM as part of
> the software covered under the special BSD agreement.

Yes that's correct. There is a long tradition of this being the mechanism to obtain the compiler tools for commercial closed source use, and extending it to cover OPAM is the only route I see to getting a commercially friendly OPAM license for industrial users in the short term.


> Mark
>> On 19 January 2016 at 14:27, Anil Madhavapeddy <anil at recoil.org> wrote:
>> On 19 Jan 2016, at 14:17, Fabrice Le Fessant <Fabrice.Le_fessant at inria.fr>
>> wrote:
>> On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 9:47 AM Daniel Bünzli <daniel.buenzli at erratique.ch>
>> wrote:
>>> 3. I'm perfectly fine if opam stays with the LGPL. I'm not however fine
>>> with the added CLA.
>> I must repeat at this point that, as written in the first mail, the reason
>> why Louis was proposing to use a CLA for OPAM is that the current license is
>> not LGPL. It is a wrongly patched LGPL v3, with an exception coming from
>> LGPL v2, that makes it unusable in the context of OCaml. Without a CLA from
>> major contributors to OPAM, the only option is to move to GPL (LGPL has a
>> clause that allows switching to GPL without agreement from the
>> contributors).
>> Dear all,
>> The ability to be flexible about the license is important to the project,
>> and a large-scale relicensing to a BSD license is not practical at this
>> stage in the project (nor is it fair to hijack Louis' initial request).
>> I wanted to raise two points however:
>> - I would very much like to align OPAM and OCaml's licensing, and one is
>> LGPLv3 and the other is LGPLv2.  The latter is commercially more widely
>> acceptable, and more importantly is set in stone after the recent consortium
>> meeting.  What would the maintainer's feelings of aligning the OPAM license
>> exactly with that of OCaml, so that we at least have a standard copyleft
>> license for the ecosystem.
>> - I sense that some of the issues with the CLA are that external
>> contributors are uncomfortable with a commercial company with no published
>> future plans for OPAM. Perhaps it would make things easier if a body such as
>> the Caml Consortium held the OPAM CLA.  It's not clear to me if the
>> Consortium wants this, but I thought I'd raise the topic.  It would be
>> hugely beneficial to commercial users to have one place to get the OCaml
>> ecosystem under a BSD-style license for embedding in products.
>> best,
>> Anil
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