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From Simon Kitching <>
Subject Re: Apache License
Date Tue, 31 May 2005 21:18:31 GMT
On Tue, 2005-05-31 at 17:13 +0000, Dago Bert wrote:
> Hey,
> i would like to use the "Jakarta Commons CLI" project under the "Apache 
> License" in my project under the "Gnu Public License". Specifically i am 
> using a jar file from that project in mine and would like to distribute my 
> project together with that jar file. Is this possible from a legal point of 
> view?

Note: all the following information is *unofficial*; I am not a lawyer
and all that.

The ASF has no problems with you combining apache licensed code with GPL
code. But of course you cannot distribute the result under the APL, as
GPL code can only be redistributed under the GPL. 

And *according to the FSF* you can't distribute the combination under
the GPL because the APL has a clause related to revoking user
permissions to use the work if they sue claiming patents on other parts
of the work. This renders the APL "non-free" according to the GPL (see
clause 3 of the apache license).

So at the moment, you cannot legally combine APL and GPL code.

If you own the copyright on all the code, then I think you could release
it under a "GPL with exceptions" license which states that linking with
APL code is ok. But I don't know if your code could then legally be
included as part of a larger GPL'd work.

The FSF and ASF are working on making the APL and GPL compatible; both
sides *want* people to be able to combine APL and GPL code as you are
trying to do. But anything involving lawyers goes very slowly...



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