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From Pier Fumagalli <>
Subject Why not LGPL? (Was: Re: ChartTransformer 0.0.4 urge a commiter!)
Date Sun, 26 Jan 2003 19:58:28 GMT
Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> Steven Noels wrote:
>> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
>>> I'm not going to put another jar in our dependencies that is LGPL also.
>> You are not _allowed_ to do so.
> Actually, we can. It depends on whom you ask ;-)

Both wrong? :-) :-)

Ok, let me try to explain the rationale behind GPL/LGPL for inclusion in 
  the ASF codebases.

I believe that everyone will know why GPL is "no-no" for us: it's a 
"viral" license, every modification to some GPL code, and everything 
linked against some GPL code _needs_ to be re-released as GPL.

Now, the folks at GNU one day, seeing the drawbacks imposed by this 
licensing scheme (not many wanted to release software using a GPL 
licensed library) decided to come out with a "Lesser" GPL (LGPL).

LPGL has one small caveat in it: you can LINK against that library and 
not be forced to re-release your code as GPL (however, if you modify the 
library itself, your modifications will have to be licensed under LGPL 
again, it is still "viral" on that part).

Legally there is nothing preventing us (Apache) to base some of our work 
on a LGPL licensed library, then, for real, you can link against, put it 
in CVS, do whatever you want. But there is one tricky little detail:

If (for example) we, the ASF, decided to get the library and make some 
modifications to it, or, scarier though, we _had_ to "fork" the library 
for our own needs (imagine, the orignal author changes from LGPL to 
something else, full GPL for example -as happened lately to the MySQL 
JDBC drivers- or even worse, decides the library will only be 
distributed as "commercial software"), then we would be utterly f***ed.

Ethically the ASF does not develops software under a "viral" license, 
therefore, given the "partial virality" of LGPL, we wouldn't be able to 
"fork" and maintain such a library. We wouldn't even be able to change 
the license, all modifications would have to be LGPL, so, we either 
would have to rewrite the whole thing, or get rid of the offending bits 
and bobs...

Soooo, I'd say, if you see the word GPL  somewhere (with or without the 
leading L) my answer is usually no, because now or in the future it 
could/will create problems...

My 2c...


BTW, this whole argument about Charts is getting _so_ tedious! :-) :-)

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