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From Henri Yandell <flame...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Legal worries... Was: Roller 1.3 release
Date Mon, 07 Nov 2005 20:07:54 GMT
On 11/7/05, Matt Raible <mraible@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/7/05, Henri Yandell <flamefew@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 11/7/05, Allen Gilliland <Allen.T.Gilliland@sun.com> wrote:
> > > Actually, I'm not sure it's important to Sun.  To my knowledge the decision
to move to apache was made by the Roller community and had nothing to do with Sun.
> >
> >
> > While not wanting to end up in a 'he-said, she-said'; I thought the
> > history was that the Roller chose not to join prior to Dave joining
> > Sun, but that Sun pointed out further advantages. One of these being
> > attention to legal issues, and the matter was rethought. I apologise
> > if I've got that wrong though, much of that is probably reading into
> > things being said.
> >
> > I just mailed concerning the issue being over ASF policy now; that
> > policy is most concerned with the rights of downstream users. ie) if a
> > company were to release a commercial version of the project, that the
> > LGPL usage wouldn't torpedo their desire to do so.
>
> I know this is a dead horse, but I feel like beating something today. ;-)

I'll be at ApacheCon, just promise to give me some beer after the beating :)

> http://www.hibernate.org/196.html
>
> <quote>
> Using Hibernate (by importing Hibernate's public interfaces in your
> Java code), and extending Hibernate (by subclassing or implementation
> of an extension interface) is considered by the authors of Hibernate
> to be dynamic linking. Hence our interpretation of the LGPL is that
> the use of the unmodified Hibernate source does not affect the license
> of your application code.
> </quote>
>
> We haven't modified Hibernate at all, so including hibernate3.jar in
> our code does not have a viral nature to it - at least as far as I'm
> concerned.

Yep. Kinda. No. My head hurts.

So src/java/roller is fine, not affected by the LGPL licence, however
Roller.zip is affected by the LGPL. The product would not be ASL, but
rather ASL/LGPL. Given that LGPL is stricter on some subjects than ASL
(I'll have to dig into email to list them), this means that
effectively the Roller distribution is more encumbered than a product
from Apache usually is.

Although originally the aim was to get the Hibernate clause recognised
as usable, and we even made a generic lawyer-written version of it,
talking with the FSF allowed Cliff to get to a point where we're all
happy that linkage is not a problem; distribution then reared its
head.

> That being said, if it's just a matter of not being able to include
> JARs in SVN, we could use Maven 2's Ant tasks, and download them
> dynamically before building everything.  I've played with this a bit
> and it seems to work pretty well (though the metadata for Maven's
> transitive dependencies still needs quite a bit of work).

I think an important legal part is user awareness. Or even possibly interaction.

If we had a bit that pops up and says:  "Please click here to download
FOO, by clicking here you are agreeing to the licence in <url to
LGPL>", then I think we can do it. Or we might have to actually show
them the license.

In reality the onus would be on us to match what the community is
doing; ie) how much do James do etc. If that's not enough, the ASF at
large would need to adjust.

Easiest, in the short term, is just to ask people to download jars
from ibiblio urls with a disclaimer that they are accepting the LGPL
license.

> I'd rather pursue fancy installation
> tactics than re-write anything.  Although, we probably could've
> re-wrote everything by now rather than sending all these e-mails. ;-)

The above takes care of the short term problem, and then just leaves
questions of the pressure to not have a required dependency on LGPL
licensed works. ie) pressure to make Hibernate optional.

Hen

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