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From Sam Ruby <ru...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: Classpath Licensing
Date Thu, 06 Feb 2003 17:04:59 GMT
Nic Ferrier wrote:
 >> Serge: The Classpath author adds an addendum to allow bundling of
 >> this library into an executable, but that still won't allow us to
 >> distribute jars in CVS or downloadable with source builds (never
 >> mind Java doesn't have executables).  ibiblio would still be in
 >> violation of the license, as would CVSWeb, CVS, and anything that
 >> allowed these Jars to be downloaded independently.
 > This is not correct. The exception allows Apache (or any) code to
 > object link to ClasspathX code.
 > Distributing the jar file is not a problem.
 > Noel said:
 >> By the way, if you are curious about the LGPL, I understand that
 >> one of the problems with the LGPL is this clause: "When a "work
 >> that uses the Library" uses material from a header file that is
 >> part of the Library, the object code for the work may be a
 >> derivative work of the Library even though the source code is not.
 >> Whether this is true is especially significant if the work can be
 >> linked without the Library, or if the work is itself a library.
 >> The threshold for this to be true is not precisely defined by law."
 >> Because the FSF has thus far declined to clarify the picture for
 >> Java, the preceding clause is interpreted that simply an import
 >> could be construed to contaminate the importing class.
 > The FSF is clear on the issue. You can object link LGPLed Java with
 > other code without special permission. This is because there is no
 > textual inclusion.
 > The GPL+exception btw is well understood on this side of the fence
 > because it is the licence Guile has used for many years to protect
 > the source code but not preventing linking to other code.

Can somebody provide a clear and unambiguous public reference that 
explicitly addresses such issues as the use of the Java import statement?

IANAL, but I can tell you that lawyers who know far more about this 
matter than I have reviewed the license and not come to the same conclusion.

Part of the issue is that the terms "object link" are not well defined 
for Java programs.  In many was, import in Java operates much as 
#include does in C.

- Sam Ruby

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