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From Nick Kew <n...@webthing.com>
Subject Re: Will apr_dbd_mysql be distributed with apr?
Date Tue, 07 Aug 2007 23:18:53 GMT
On Tue, 7 Aug 2007 14:04:46 -0700
"Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:

> According to
>     http://www.mysql.com/company/legal/licensing/foss-exception.html
>     1. You obey the GPL in all respects for the Program and the
>     Derivative Work, except for identifiable sections of the
>     Derivative Work which are not derived from the Program, and
>     which can reasonably be considered independent and separate
>     works in themselves,
> Is apr_dbd_mysql an independent work or a Derived Work in relation
> to mysql?  I am pretty certain RMS would say it is a Derived Work.
> I don't know what MySQL thinks, but their copyright may not apply
> if all you are doing is using the published client API.

Looking at the GPL, I can't see a basis for considering it a derived
work.  The strongest argument for it can be taken from a paragraph
of the LGPL's introductory waffle, where it speaks of the distinction
between the GPL and LGPL:

  "The reason we have a separate public license for some libraries is
  that they blur the distinction we usually make between modifying or
  adding to a program and simply using it.  Linking a program with a
  library, without changing the library, is in some sense simply using
  the library, and is analogous to running a utility program or
  application program.  However, in a textual and legal sense, the
  linked executable is a combined work, a derivative of the original
  library, and the ordinary General Public License treats it as such."

That only refers to "the linked executable", which is not something
we're contemplating distributing.  APR/APU work just fine, and even
provide the full apr_dbd API, without any requirement to link MySQL.
So any third-party user of APR should presumably be in the clear too,
unless *they* make something into a MySQL derived work.

We can include apr_dbd_oracle without our users requiring an Oracle
license.  It's hard to justify MySQL being more restrictive.

> In other words, if it is an independent work (in the eyes of MySQL)
> then we can distribute it under the Apache License and, assuming
> we don't link in MySQL by default for binaries, there is no viral
> effect.  However, if it is considered to be a Derived Work, then the
> MySQL exception is only saying that we can distribute both of them
> together if and only if the GPL is applied to apr_dbd_mysql
> (regardless of your decision as copyright owner).  The exception
> therefore only protects the rest of APR from the viral clause,
> and we still can't redistribute it in our package

MySQL's view from their FOSS exception page:
  "Derivative Work means a derivative work under copyright law."
It's hard to see how that would apply to a work that merely uses
their published API.  And in my view, their Appendix A clinches
it: they're happy for APR to be distributed, including MySQL
support, under ASL 2.0.

> My opinion is that apr_dbd_mysql is an independent work that merely
> uses the published MySQL interfaces, and therefore okay for us to
> include in the distribution.  That would be confirmed if MySQL said
> it was okay to license apr_dbd_mysql as under AL2.  If all they said
> was that APR could include apr_dbd_mysql under the exception, then
> that doesn't say much of anything.


Nick Kew

Application Development with Apache - the Apache Modules Book

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