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From Wade Chandler <wadechand...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Optional modules with GPL dependencies (was: What to include/exclude in code donation to Apache)
Date Sat, 05 Nov 2016 12:56:12 GMT
On Nov 4, 2016 11:27 AM, "Bertrand Delacretaz" <bdelacretaz@apache.org>
wrote:
>
>
> IMO the "can Apache projects rely on components under prohibited
> licenses?" section of http://apache.org/legal/resolved.html applies,
> and the key question is then whether the external component's license
> terms affect the NetBeans product's licensing.
>
> If for example NetBeans depends on GPL licensed APIs that would be an
> obstacle IMO.
>
> OTOH if the affected modules can be released under our license with no
> impact from those GPL modules everything's fine, IMO.
>
That word depends and GPL (per sub licenses) gets messy to me in your
reply. I think resolved is very clear, and we can have builds that use GPL
with CPE/LGPL and we can have products that require the GPL with CPE/LGPL
to run, we just can't package that other component in the repository nor
the distributed product, but we can provide a downloader for the other
component if we explain to the user we will be doing that, and ask if they
would like to click some buttons. I think the same is true for GPL where we
use tools, but a different topic than nb-javac or graals.js.

I think the below spells this out, and to me means there are a couple
possibilities for how to make that happen either at install time or modules
can have abstractions which defer to a classpath when available or some
other implementation when not, and that implementation directs the user
about what to do. But the modules with the dependencies could still be
built and distributed by Apache.

Is there consensus on this?

CAN APACHE PROJECTS RELY ON COMPONENTS UNDER PROHIBITED LICENSES?
Apache projects cannot distribute any such components. As with the previous
question on platforms, the component can be relied on if the component's
licence terms do not affect the Apache product's licensing. For example,
using a GPL'ed tool during the build is OK.

CAN APACHE PROJECTS RELY ON COMPONENTS WHOSE LICENSING AFFECTS THE APACHE
PRODUCT?
Apache projects cannot distribute any such components. However, if the
component is only needed for optional features, a project can provide the
user with instructions on how to obtain and install the non-included work.
Optional means that the component is not required for standard use of the
product or for the product to achieve a desirable level of quality. The
question to ask yourself in this situation is:

"Will the majority of users want to use my product without adding the
optional components?"

Other resolved sections possibly affecting NetBeans but which are
manageable and not yet directly related

CAN APACHE PRODUCTS INCLUDE WORKS LICENSED UNDER THE JSON LICENSE?
No. As of 2016-11-03 this has been moved to the 'Category X' license list.
Prior to this, use of the JSON Java library was allowed. See Debian's page
for a list of alternatives.

CAN OSGI METADATA BE ADDED TO WEAK COPYLEFT BINARIES - THUS MODIFYING THE
BINARY JAR FILE?
Insertion of OSGi metadata into 'Category B' licensed jars is permitted;
even though that metadata becomes licensed under the 3rd party license when
it is put in the jar, assuming that a note that this has occurred is
included in the prominent labeling that the Category B language calls for.

CAN ASF PMCS HOST PROJECTS THAT ARE NOT UNDER THE APACHE LICENSE?
No. See the Apache Software Foundation licenses page for more details, and
the Apache Software Foundation page for additional background.

Thanks

Wade

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