[Maxima] maxima license clarification: "GPLv2" or "GPLv2 or later" or ??

Robert Dodier robert.dodier at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 18:46:38 CDT 2007

On 8/9/07, Rex Dieter <rdieter at math.unl.edu> wrote:

> With the GPLv3 having been recently released, could someone place clarify
> what version(s) of the GPL applies to current release(s) of maxima?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

I believe that different bits of Maxima are governed by slightly
different licenses.

(1) Everything released by Bill Schelter and derivatives of that
(i.e. edited or otherwise modified copies) is covered by the
license Schelter attached to Maxima, namely GPL v2.
See: http://maxima.cvs.sourceforge.net/maxima/maxima/COPYING
I don't believe Schelter used the phrase "v2 or later"
so I believe we cannot change the license of that part of Maxima to
GPL v2 or later (short of getting agreement from whoever
inherited Schelter's copyrights).

(2) Some original works written by other authors are covered
by other licenses as specified by their authors.
Some authors have specified GPL v2 or later,
and some have specified LGPL v2 or later, and at least one
is covered by LGPL + a Lisp-specific preamble.
It is possible there are some files covered by still other
licenses; I haven't looked carefully.

Given this situation, I believe that an executable is covered
by the intersection of the licenses of the pieces, which I
believe would be GPL in the case of Maxima.
In a release of source code only, I believe each piece would
be covered by its own license.

Of course I could easily be mistaken about any or all of this.

Rex, perhaps you can tell us what you want to do and then
we can discuss whether that particular action is allowed
under the license or licenses of Maxima. I think that would
be more productive than a discussion of licensing in the abstract.

Robert Dodier

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