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From Mark Wielaard <>
Subject Re: licensing (was: Ant gui tool)
Date Fri, 20 Oct 2000 16:55:11 GMT

On Sat, Oct 21, 2000 at 01:22:16AM +1000, Peter Donald wrote:
> At 08:16  20/10/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >I'm sorry to have brought this whole thing up again, but is there any
> >incompatibility between LGPL and APL?  And is it possible to do a combination
> >license GPL/APL?  Would there be any advantage in this?
> Unfortunately still yes. I asked a few people to prod RMS to see if he
> would allow APL but he decided that it was not possible. The main reasosn
> is that you can not take product X, modify it and call it X under APL - you
> have to call it a modified version of X. According to RMS this is taking
> away the freedom of developers. 
> I suspect that it is just a move to block people developing code under APL.
You make it sound like RMS personally decides if something is or is not
GPL compatible. The reason the APL and GPL are not compatible are legal
not personal. The GPL is only compatible with licenses that have as much
or less restrictions then the GPL. The problem with the APL is that it tries
to use copyright law to enforce something that should be handled with
an trademark (the you may not use the word xxx and yyy clauses 4 and 5).

> RMS at one stage was very vocal in trying to stop people working for APL
> like projects - while he allows exceptions for some libraries for political
> reasons (ie ones KDE build on or X consortiums derived software) - Apache
> is not one of the blessed and thus he encourages all developers to fight
> against Apaches oppressive restrictions ;] No true GNU supporter is meant
> to develope code under APL and thus the reasons why he is throwing so many
> roadblocks in way. Apache has changed and revised license once already and
> tried to do it again to suit RMS but he will not be happy with anything but
> the GPL.
That is just not true. Of course RMS likes projects to use the GPL.
And of course he likes it when licenses are compatible so people can
freely combine code. And since the APL is not compatible with the
GPL he urges people to not write new software using it. But the FSF
does see it as a free software license (which it is!) with some small
practical problems (which it has).

I emailed with Brian Behlendorf and he said that the ASF wants the APL
to be compatible with the GPL. (This could be as easy as changing the
"must not call.." into "please don't call..." in clauses 4 and 5.)
So hopefully in the future this incompatibility won't be a problem
any more. The more people that can use code covered by the APL the better.



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