Proposal for a generic new exception for OpenSSL

James Bottomley

Hi All,

I need to add an OpenSSL exception to an existing GPL-2.0 project and
was hoping you'd already have one ready to go. Unfortunately, the only
exception you have is OpenVPN specific, which is unusable by any other
project because it begins "In addition, as a special exception, OpenVPN
Technologies, Inc. gives permission ...". I understand this is driven
by the need to classify something that already exists, but I was hoping
to propose a generic exception which would be usable by any project to
forestall exception proliferation.

Since the primary (and perhaps only) use for this exception is with
GPL, it needs to be phrased as an additional permission (for both v2
and v3). Since the main source of incompatibility is the OpenSSL
advertising and redistribution restrictions, the way around is simply
to allow linking of the work with OpenSSL without creating a derivative
of the work to which the GPL would have to apply. The form of words
I'd like to propose is

as an additional permission combining this work with OpenSSL via
linking does not create a derivative work of this work.

Most of the alternative formulations go for wordier versions, but I
think brevity is better.



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