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From "Henri Yandell" <bay...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Maven Cobertura Plugin - GPL Javascript files
Date Wed, 21 Nov 2007 14:38:01 GMT
On Nov 21, 2007 8:32 AM, Jeffrey Thompson <jthom@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> "Niall Pemberton" <niall.pemberton@gmail.com> wrote on 11/20/2007 06:26:22
> PM:
> > On Nov 19, 2007 3:42 PM, Jeffrey Thompson <jthom@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> > > Subject to being corrected, I'd expect the answer to be no.  I don't
> think
> > > GPL is on the list of approved licenses for included components of an
> > > Apache project.  Are the javascript files really necessary?  Can
> cobertura
> > > plugin produce a different format output that doesn't require those
> files?#
> >
> > Henri, Jeff, Jesse,
> >
> > Thanks for responding. A release of cobertura with an alternative
> > would be great, but thats not in my control. However I was hoping for
> > "hey no problem, its only documentation" type answers. I just went
> > back and read the (hopefully soon to be official) 3rd party license
> > policy/guidelines here:
> >
> >   http://people.apache.org/~cliffs/3party.html
> >
> > The second and third of the "Guiding principles" talk about "software"
> > and "products that depend on other software". Does this really apply
> > to documentation as well? Its not the software we develop, just some
> > generated reports about the software we develop. Surely that
> > documentation has zero impact on the license of the software we've
> > developed and therefore on the user.
> But, the javascript files are software.  The fact that their use is solely
> to display the documentation isn't the point.  And even if the weren't
> software, if they were just text, there would still be a problem.

I suspect that we'd be okay with this being on our website, but
projects would not be able to put that website into their download as
cheap documentation. Given the propensity of projects to do this,
especially maven generated sites which are likely to be the ones doing
cobertura, then I think we should be very strongly discouraging this
for anything except a report being placed in ~foo/.

> What I find surprising is that a development tool would include L/GPL code
> in what is in effect runtime support.  That creates a trap of sorts if the
> user doesn't notice that the tool is embedding L/GPL code in their output.
> Although I wouldn't go as far as saying that all GPL javascript is evil, it
> certainly is troublesome from a licensing perspective.

JavaScript is just painful from a licensing point of view. Even the
permissive ones are painful as they often have a LICENSE file and
where are people supposed to put that on their website. Presumably the
same would apply for Applets, Flash etc. I suspect those cases are
just poorly handled currently.

LGPL/GPL is especially painful - it demands attribution next to the
copyright statement on your website [my interpretation anyway], and
wtf is linking in JavaScript :)


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