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From Conor MacNeill <>
Subject Re: SSH Tasks
Date Thu, 30 Jan 2003 15:05:49 GMT
Antoine Levy-Lambert wrote:
> I do not understand why we have problems with GNU Licenses, and at the same
> time, we have for instance Visual Age tasks in ant.

It's funny isn't it. IANAL, but IMHO, the problem arises when you link to 
the GNU code. This places obligations on you with regard to your code. Since 
the FSF considers the Apache licence unsuitable, we cannot meet those 
obligations Commercial licences, in general, do not place obligations on 
your code, they mostly deal with what you can do with their code (binary).

This is the "viral" nature of GNU licences.

> Here is a message from Lee David Painter, one of the authors of the J2SSH
> library

Well, as Stefan has said, not everyone in the FSF agrees and there is a 
suggestion that for Java effectively LGPL = GPL. It comes down to what you 
understand by the term "linking". I think perhaps this is the difficult 
clause in the LGPL

   When a "work that uses the Library" uses material from a header file
that is part of the Library, the object code for the work may be a
derivative work of the Library even though the source code is not.
Whether this is true is especially significant if the work can be
linked without the Library, or if the work is itself a library.  The
threshold for this to be true is not precisely defined by law.

It's obviously C-think (header files, object code) and interpreting this 
already imprecise clause in Java context is pretty difficult - hence 
consensus at Apache is that it is safer not to use LGPL.

Perhaps the best hope would be for them to distribute an Ant SSH task with 
their SSH code - not sure if this violates the LGPL or not.


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