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From "Dittert, Eric" <eric.ditt...@intel.com>
Subject RE: Apache's LGPL Policy
Date Thu, 04 Aug 2005 18:15:41 GMT

(Note: Switched back to original thread topic, since this is about LGPL,
not current Apache policy.)

From: Jeffrey Thompson [mailto:jthom@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 6:52 AM
>   As I describe below, I'm fuzzy on a couple of things and maybe this
>can help.
>Here's the Use Case:
>=USE CASE: a "Program" that is distributed "In Isolation".
>=- --------------
>=- -->The Program can be distributed In Isolation without any
>=This is obviously the case for a Program that contains nothing
>=derivative of any portion of the Library and would, therefore, fall
>=outside the scope of the LGPL (as pointed out in the first paragraph
>=of Section 5).
>Here's where I lose the reasoning.  If I understand the FSF correctly,
if I
>write a program that is designed to be linked to a GPL program, it is a
>derivative work of that GPL program whether or not I actually do the
>linking before I distribute my program.  So, if my licensee dynamically
>statically links the GPL program to mine as part of the normal use of
>program, I have obligations under the GPL.  Is that still the FSF
>If so, then the only way that I can see that happening is the
>that I used on the interfaces to the GPL program is the "work" that I
>a derivative of, apparently even if it is a published interface
>of the GPL program at issue.  That seems strange to me, but taken at
>value, and applying that to this use case, wouldn't any program written
>subclass the LGPL java classes also be a derivative work?  So, the
>"This is obviously the case for a Program that contains nothing
>of any portion of the Library" describes a null set (accepting the FSF
>position on derivatives).

If the FSF position with respect to the LGPL is as you state, then the
definition of "work that uses the Library" in section 5 of the LGPL
becomes a distinction without any meaning.  The definition at the
beginning of section 5 of the LGPL reads as follows:

A program that contains no derivative of any portion of the Library, but
is designed to work with the Library by being compiled or linked with
it, is called a "work that uses the Library". Such a work, in isolation,
is not a derivative work of the Library, and therefore falls outside the
scope of this License.

I am not familiar with what the FSF has said about code written to work
with a GPL library and IANAL, but the intent here seems clearly to
distinguish between source code that simply contains references to the
library, and the product of subsequent compilation and/or linking,
especially since the next paragraph in the LGPL contains this:

However, linking a "work that uses the Library" with the Library creates
an executable that is a derivative of the Library (because it contains
portions of the Library), rather than a "work that uses the library".

-- Eric

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