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From "Cliff Schmidt" <cliffschm...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Apache's LGPL Policy
Date Wed, 10 Aug 2005 16:09:24 GMT
I think I understand Jeff's concern about the policy question.  At least a few large vendors
(and maybe many vendors) use and support ASF software because it allows them to sublicense
the ASF software using their commercial license within their product. Whether we distribute
the LGPL libraries or not, the concern is that the Apache product is no longer useful to them
if it requires licensing any part under LGPL (most vendors are not going to tell their customers
to go download a .jar). If taken to an extreme and every ASF product *required* an LGPL-licensed
library, then these vendors (the ones that want to sublicense everything with their commercial
license) would no longer be interested in shipping ASF products. 

On the other hand we have other users who would clearly benefit from projects being able to
produce new work without having to recreate a widely accepted component - especially one that
might already be on their desktop. 

Jeff was quite right in labeling this as a policy question. I haven't heard much concern for
a legal problem with what we are proposing; instead, the key issue is whether this move would
serve the goals of the foundation. 

Cliff

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Diephouse <dan@envoisolutions.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:32:34 
To:Jeffrey Thompson <jthom@us.ibm.com>
Cc:Cliff Schmidt <cliffs@apache.org>, legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: Re: Apache's LGPL Policy

Jeffrey Thompson wrote:

> Cliff Schmidt <cliffs@apache.org> wrote on 08/09/2005 09:52:46 PM:
> > Does my explanation above help at all?  I believe the FSF has clearly  
> > stated that their interpretation of the LGPL does not restrict the  
> > licensing of Java software that simply links to LGPL libraries.  Even  
> > if they have ever called such linking derivative, they are not trying  
> > to impose restrictions on such works using the LGPL.
> >
> > Cliff
> >
>
> Not really, but it probably isn't that critical.  The issue would 
> arise when the owner of the LGPL code disagrees with the FSF's 
> position on what that license means and tries to exert some sort of 
> control over the Apache project.  He'd have to say that the definition 
> of "work that uses the library" means exactly what it says . . . that 
> is, the work MUST NOT BE A DERIVATIVE as a precondition.  The 
> discussion later that "even if it is a derivative, we're not going to 
> treat it as one" was just belts and suspenders and should be ignored. 
>  Therefore, since the Apache code was designed to interface with his 
> code, then its a derivative and must be covered by section 4.  
>
> I would be really surprised if a court bought that argument.  And even 
> if it did, I'm not certain what that person would gain.
>
> In the end, I don't see a LGPL licensing problem.  However, I'm still 
> confused about the policy question.  When I asked before, I got the 
> distinct impression that the list (or at least those actively posting) 
> had concerns on what this would mean for Apache and what rights 
> licensees would get.
>
> If Apache ends up with a project that requires that licensees go 
> download and incorporate LGPL code, doesn't that in effect restrict 
> what can be done with that project to the lowest common denominator. 
>  The licensee wouldn't be able to do anything with the project that 
> wouldn't be permissible to do to an LGPL project.  For example, the 
> licensee certainly wouldn't be able to redistribute a binary of the 
> project in a commercial product under a commercial license.  Is that 
> really OK?

I thought Cliff determined that, at least in the case of LGPL jars, the 
LGPL doesn't place any additional licensing restrictions because 
projects which use them are a work in isolation. 

Regarding the commercial side of things: this only applies to the 
original or modified lgpl library as I see it. Therefore I could 
redistribute a binary of a project for profit. The one additional 
restriction is that if the end user wanted a copy of the LGPL'd jar's 
source code, I would have to provide a link to it.

I would at the very least like to see Cliff's resolution approved and 
have no concerns over it. AND I would like to see a resolution that 
allows LGPL jars in ASF distributions so users don't have to download them.

>
> Are we distinguishing between LGPL code that we expect that most 
> systems would have already (like glibc) from LGPL code that would have 
> to be distributed with the project if you wanted to distribute a 
> complete solution?
>
> Jeff
>
>
> Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
> (notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
> (web) http://www.beff.net/
>


-- 
Dan Diephouse
Envoi Solutions LLC
http://netzooid.com


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