License GPL-2 conflicts with OpenSSLException

Joshua Root jmr at
Sat Apr 17 03:51:03 UTC 2021

On 2021-4-17 13:42 , Jason Liu wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 16, 2021 at 9:21 PM Joshua Root <jmr at 
> <mailto:jmr at>> wrote:
>     OpenSSLException conflicts with everything except the OpenSSL license.
> Wait, what? If OpenSSLException conflicts with everything except the 
> OpenSSL license, doesn't that make it tautologically equivalent to the 
> OpenSSL license itself? (i.e. the sentence is basically the same as 
> saying "if and only if")
> I thought the entire point of OpenSSLException was to specify that the 
> authors have made the exception (in writing) that allows their 
> GPL-licensed project to link against OpenSSL? Wouldn't that imply that 
> OpenSSLException has to be compatible with something (i.e. the GPL) in 
> addition to the OpenSSL license?

I meant it when I said it was an implementation detail. To specify in a 
Portfile that the license is "X with an OpenSSL exception", you write:

license	{X OpenSSLException}

A sub-list in the licenses option means you have a choice of the 
licenses in that list. X by itself conflicts with the OpenSSL license, 
but you have the choice of OpenSSLException which doesn't (but also 
doesn't gain you compatibility with anything else.)

- Josh

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