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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <acoli...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [gnu.org #52328] Re: Possibly Include HTMLParser Jar in contrib code?
Date Sat, 12 Jul 2003 23:29:49 GMT
Dear Mr. Turner:

Brett Smith referred me to you regarding a question regarding the Lesser Gnu
Public License (LGPL) in regards to Java.  It is the interpretation of most
of the open/free software communities that the use of a "jar" file by a
piece of software linked via a Java "import" statement does not bind the
linking work under the terms of the LGPL.  The Apache Software Foundation,
presently takes a more conservative view and thus projects of the ASF are
not allowed to link/distribute LGPL programs into Java projects of the

This has remained an issue for the Apache POI project on a number of
occasions.  Early in the project I wanted to use Trove, for instance.  While
we might possibly be able to get an interpretation from each project, a
general statement from the FSF would be very helpful in setting Apache
policy on the use of LGPL libraries in Java.

Roy Fielding offered the following description of the issue:

> No.  What the FSF needs to say is that inclusion of the
> external interface names (methods, filenames, imports, etc.)
> defined by an LGPL jar file, so that a non-LGPL jar can make
> calls to the LGPL jar's implementation, does not cause the
> including work to be derived from the LGPL work even though
> java uses late-binding by name (requiring that names be
> copied into the derived executable), and thus does not (in
> and of itself) cause the package as a whole to be restricted
> to distribution as (L)GPL or as open source per section 6 of
> the LGPL. "

Is this statement true with regards to the use of LGPL Java libraries by
non-LGPL Java libraries?  I appreciate your assistance in this matter.


Andrew C. Oliver
Custom enhancements and Commercial Implementation for Jakarta POI

For Java and Excel, Got POI?

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