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From Cliff Schmidt <>
Subject Re: plugins with some excluded licenses
Date Mon, 10 Jul 2006 23:34:34 GMT

Sorry for the slow reply to this one.  I've just now crawled out of  
the build-up of legal emails that I ignored during ApacheCon Europe.

Short answer: I didn't see any problem with the approach suggested in  
this thread.

Long answer:
The big picture here is actually much less about legal requirements/ 
risk and more about consistency of the licensing aspect of the Apache  
brand.  That big, long, third-party licensing policy doc is primarily  
trying to achieve one thing: a consistent theme to the licenses of  
stuff that goes in an Apache product.  While we do need to be careful  
about how we link to GPL works, linking to an LGPL Java library poses  
only a minimal risk that we would have to license our project code  
under something other than the Apache License.  Most of those "You  
MUST NOT" and "You MAY"s were my attempt at placing bounds around  
what a user has to deal with when they grab a product "off the shelf"  
that has the "Apache" brand on it (don't get me started on my grocery  
store metaphor...).

I give you the long answer for two reasons: a) to give you an  
understanding for the ideas behind all those rules, and b)  to make  
sure I'm not misleading anyone into thinking that distributing an  
LGPL library within an Apache product would cause us to all go to FSF  
jail (or worse, JBoss jail!).  The reason we don't distribute LGPL  
jars in our products is because our users have come to associate the  
Apache brand with (among other things) commercially-friendly  
software, and the LGPL places restrictions on how they can license  
software that links to the library, which most would consider not as  
friendly as they would like.


On Jul 3, 2006, at 10:55 PM, David Crossley wrote:

> Hi Cliff, we are having a discussion on the Forrest dev
> mailing list about how to cope with plugins where our
> developers want to use third-party products from the
> Re: plugins with some excluded licenses
> Message-ID: 44A8E7F1.1020508 () apache ! org
> Some background ...
> Forrest has its main core and then a "plugins" system
> to enable various extra optional functionality. We have
> a growing list of plugins that we manage in our SVN.
> When we make a release, we add the sources for all the
> plugins.
> The user can also use the plugin system to download
> plugins that are not held in the Forrest SVN, e.g. from
> their own development site.
> So far we have managed to avoid using Category X third-party
> products (e.g. supporting jars such as database connectivity)
> in any of our plugins. However it was bound to happen.
> Now we have a definite use case.
> I hope that you can help. I am stumped about the best way forward.
> -David

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