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From "Cliff Schmidt" <cliffschm...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: licensing issues in clucene
Date Sun, 30 Apr 2006 19:44:48 GMT
On 4/29/06, Niclas Hedhman <niclas@hedhman.org> wrote:
> On Saturday 29 April 2006 02:57, Ben van Klinken wrote:
> > For historical reasons, CLucene is dual licensed as Apache 2.0 license
> > or LGPL. As I understand it, the apache license is currently is not
> > compatible with GPL projects and therefore GPL projects can't
> > distribute apache licensed software, so we would like to maintain the
> > LGPL license as well.
>
> Although Apache is not about its license, there are a lot of mechanisms in
> Apache that assumes that there is only one license and that such license is
> the Apache License v2.0
>
> Although not directly forbidden, it will be a great burden on the project
> (without support from the infrastructure team) and big deterent to manage to
> maintain a dual-licensing scheme.
>
> E.g.
> Apache does not work with Copyright assigns, so each contribution is still
> Copyrighted to the original author. Contribution via JIRA requires the
> contributor to actively indicate that the contribution is covered by ALv2.
> For a potential dual-licensing scheme, you must obtain the approval from the
> contributor individually and separately from the normal procedures.
> Furthermore, what if the contributor explicitly prohibits licensing under one
> or the other licenses?
> I doubt that the project will manage.
>
>
> Now, as Noel points out, the compatibility issue is from our perspective very
> obscure, and requires not only patents, but that the patent holder sues and
> is distributing the (L)GPL'd work themselves (or something along those
> lines)...
> Somehow, it doesn't stop RedHat/Debian/et al to ship ALv2 stuff as part of the
> GPL'd GNU/Linux platform.
>
> My personal recommendation; Drop the dual licensing scheme, as it will break
> if contribution numbers rises and would make less noise/problem when/if
> coming to the Apache Incubator.

I generally agree with everything Niclas and Noel have said, I'll just add:

- A few months ago, folks on the Harmony project were interested in
being able to dual-license their contributions to GPL and Apache.  I
believe there was a fairly strong consensus against it, including from
one or more ASF board members.  Others may remember the details
better.

- As Niclas said, contributors retain the copyright ownership in their
contributions.  There's nothing to stop each individual from licensing
their code some other way outside of the ASF.  However, the problem is
that you can't ensure that all contributors to the project will do
this, particularly as the project grows.  So this dual-licensing thing
doesn't really work at Apache.  I've actually written CLAs and set up
procedures to handle doing this at other communities (it's not too
difficult), but I've never seen any consensus at the ASF to do such a
thing.

- It's true that the FSF does not believe the Apache License is
compatible with the GPL v2.  I could certainly understand why you
might be concerned that the FSF's position would make some of your
users not want to combine the Apache software with their other GPL or
LGPL works.   If it's any consolation, it is extremely likely that the
FSF will make it clear that GPLv3 and LGPLv3 are compatible with the
current version of the Apache License.  Of course, the GPLv3 won't be
released for 8-11 months and will only immediately affect software
licensed as GPLv2 or later.

Cliff

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