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From Gulcu Ceki <>
Subject Re: Licenses (was: Re: Tomcat Logging)
Date Wed, 23 Aug 2000 08:49:38 GMT


> on 8/22/2000 7:31 AM, "Ceki Gulcu" <> wrote:
> > As far as I can tell (and read), it has no sleazy clauses
> > unfairly advantaging IBM. The IPL grants anyone, including
> > ASF, the right to modify and distribute the code for free or
> > for a fee. What else could one hope for?
> Wow. This statement really pisses me off to no end.

That was easy.

> Let me quote how the IBM license completely sucks in my opinion:
> > Each Contributor must include the following in a conspicuous
> > location in the Program:
> >=20
> > Copyright =A9 {date here}, International Business Machines
> > Corporation and others. All Rights Reserved.
> Sure I can use the code for free, but what happens if I use the code
> and I want to add a feature to it for my application that I want
> included into the main branch?
> No way am I going to give the copyright on my code over to IBM. I'm
> not working for IBM for free which is what this license forces me to
> do.

That is a valid concern. In my interpretation of this clause I assumed
that the "IBM copyright" needed to be added in code written by IBM,
but necessarily in contributions. Reading the IPL license again I see
that you have a point.

If you simply want to use log4j or redistribute it, then that clause
does not matter. The original question was "can Tomcat use log4j for
logging?" The answer is a resounding YES.

The point that you have raised concerns contributions to log4j. If you
would like to write code to enhance log4j, then there are three
possible cases.

Case 1)

Your contribution modifies existing log4j code. In that case, a
copyright statement with your name is added to the existing IBM
copyright statement.

Case 2)

Your contribution is a separate module. In my non-expert opinion, new
appenders or layouts can be considered separate modules. In that case,
the IPL does not apply. You may choose a different license for your
contribtuion (I suspect *you* would.)

Case 3)

Your contribution introduces a new class but is not in a separate
module. Being more loyalist than the king, you could add an IBM
Copyright statement. 

This above reasoning is based on section 1, "Definitions". It hinges
on the definition of what a "separate module" is.

Let me also add that I will be leaving the IBM Zurich Research Lab at
the end of September. Log4j will still be owned and maintained by me
after that date. So, given my investment in log4j, the issue of code
ownership is no small concern. Regards, Ceki


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