Backport #3135

Wording of LEGAL in respect of parse.c is unclear and incomplete

Added by pbetteridge (Paul Betteridge) almost 10 years ago. Updated almost 9 years ago.



Ruby (both 1.8 and 1.9) use a file "parse.c" which is licensed under the GPL.

The use of this file within Ruby is documented within the file "LEGAL".


  • within LEGAL, the wording for parse.c is mixed up with the wording for config.guess and config.sub
  • there is no clear choice of the alternative terms permitted by the exception to the GPL included in parse.c

I think it is clear that the intention is to include parse.c under terms that essentially remove it from the scope of the GPL. However, the way this file is handled in LEGAL fails to do this clearly, leading to potential issues with lawyers.

I suggest changing the words in LEGAL so that there is a separate section dealing with parse.c - the words "As long as you distribute these files with the file configure..." are not relevant to parse.c and they are not effective in respect of the GPL exception in parse.c. In any event, the current words do not accurately record the license for parse.c and do not accurately record the terms under which it is used.

It needs:

  • words relevant to the actual GPL exception in parse.c
  • words that explicitly set the terms under which parse.c is included in Ruby - to be specific, distributing the software as part of a larger work (that is, Ruby) "under terms of your choice" requires you to make a choice, and to record it

I have attached a fragment of LEGAL that might work - but I am not a lawyer.

Files (1.69 KB) pbetteridge (Paul Betteridge), 04/12/2010 08:51 PM

Updated by nobu (Nobuyoshi Nakada) almost 10 years ago

  • Status changed from Open to Closed
  • % Done changed from 0 to 100

This issue was solved with changeset r27321.
Paul, thank you for reporting this issue.
Your contribution to Ruby is greatly appreciated.
May Ruby be with you.



Updated by coatl (caleb clausen) almost 10 years ago

Can this be backported to 1.8.6, please?


Updated by nobu (Nobuyoshi Nakada) almost 10 years ago

  • Assignee set to yugui (Yuki Sonoda)

Also 1.8.{7,6}.

Also available in: Atom PDF