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From J Aaron Farr <fa...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Clarifying some licensing issues for Apache developers
Date Thu, 11 Mar 2004 18:06:10 GMT
Quoting Henri Gomez <hgomez@apache.org>:
> Should I understand that we could no more include third-party jars in
> ASF products, for example mx4j jars in Tomcat ?

This is not a complete prohibition on all third-party jars or libraries, but
only on those third-party libraries which are licensed under terms more
restrictive than the ASL.

In the case of mx4j, the code is licenced under the mx4j 1.0 License [1], which
is a derivative of the ASL 1.1 license and therefore may potentially be included
in ASF works.

However, mx4j is a good example because apparently it includes code licensed
under the Jetty and Jython licenses [2].  While I am not intimately familiar
with mx4j, this may mean that the total legal effect of using mx4j is not
contained within the mx4j license alone, but is in fact a combination of the
terms of the three licenses.  Since this combination may in fact be more
restrictive than the terms in the mx4j license alone, the library may not be in
the clear to be used by ASF projects.  To confirm this, one would need to
investigate all three licenses, understand which parts of mx4j fall outside of
its own license, and then come to a decision on how the library can be used in
the ASF.

It is exactly this sort of confusion the ASF would like to avoid.  While the
mx4j developers may in fact be perfectly in compliance with using the Jetty and
Jython licenses, users of mx4j will have to take into consideration not one, but
_three_ licenses in order to determine how to legally use the library. 
Therefore,  for the sake of our users it is best if an ASF product as a whole is
licensed under terms no more restrictive than those set out in the ASL 2.0.

For further inquries (including a specific resolution to the mx4j issue), I
would suggest subscribing to the licensing@apache.org list.

  jaaron      <http://jadetower.org>

[2] http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/mx4j/mx4j/src/etc/

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