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From "Trustin Lee" <trus...@gmail.com>
Subject Status of dependency on LGPL'd library (Was: Re: [Legal] Why is this LGPL notice file in our SVN?)
Date Mon, 21 Jan 2008 10:26:29 GMT

I know LGPL is somewhat an old topic, but it's still puzzling me, so
please bear with me a little bit. :)

I am forwarding this thread to legal-discuss@a.o just to be sure and
find out what MINA PMC has to do with the RXTX dependency.  Here's
some background:

* One of MINA's submodule depends on RXTX library (http://www.rxtx.org/).
* RXTX is LGPL'd with an exception clause.
* We are using Maven so the generated tarball doesn't contain any RXTX
source code or binary (i.e. JAR).
* However, Maven 2 fetches the RXTX binary automatically when a user
enters 'mvn compile' command.
* We didn't tag any official release or publish any distributions yet.
 (we have some Maven snapshots though)
* Another worthwhile read: http://tinyurl.com/28hmfj

Now the somewhat overlapping questions...

1) Do we need to move our submodule outside of the ASF or not?
2) Is there any way to distribute the submodule with the official MINA
release as of now?

Thanks in advance for some clear answer! :)

On Jan 21, 2008 6:25 PM, Emmanuel Lecharny <elecharny@gmail.com> wrote:
> Trustin Lee wrote:
> > It's not a mistake.  I think we had enough discussion:
> >
> > http://markmail.org/message/zpjhpxlj3hul3phx#query:+page:1+mid:zpjhpxlj3hul3phx+state:results
> >
> This discussion conclusions were pretty clear, I think :
> "I think that the last sentence is pretty clear to me : either you write
> your own interface, or you accept compilation errors (up to the user to
> download the LGPL lib interface), but you should not include any part of
> this LGPL project into the repo.
> Is that correct ?
> Emmanuel"
> "I believe so, yes. You absolutely cannot ship any LGPL code along with
> your releases. If users provide a version of that code themselves it's
> fine to have functionality that depends on it, although in general that
> sort of thing should be discouraged if possible.
> -garrett"
> So I think it's a mistake, IMHO.Someone misinterpreted the conclusion we
> reached in this thread.

Doesn't 'LGPL code' here mean the source code (or binary) of the
LGPL'd library?  If so, we are not distributing anything like that
(because we are using Maven and Maven will pull the JAR only when the
user wants to pull it.)  If 'LGPL code' meant the code that uses
LGPL'd library, then we need to do something to fix this situation.
Just moving it out to somewhere like Google Code will work I guess.

> > Please let me know if we need to add some notice statements in our distribution.
> >
> http://people.apache.org/~cliffs/3party.html :
>         "Category X: Excluded Licenses
> The following licenses must *not* apply to any software within an Apache
> product, whether in source
> <http://people.apache.org/%7Ecliffs/3party.html#define-source> or binary
> <http://people.apache.org/%7Ecliffs/3party.html#define-binary> form""
> In any case, I don't see why we have a Notice Statement in the
> distribution for a LGPL product. And we should also remove the reference
> to this library from the mina-transport-serial pom.xml.
> > In
> > contrast, RXTX is available in the official Maven repository and very
> > stable and mature in what it's supposed to do.  What we need to do is
> > to tell users that it is a LGPL'd library, and that's why
> > LICENSE.rxtx.txt is there.
> >
> There are two different things :
> - you can tell users they can use a LGPL library, on there own behalf,
> - but you can't distribute the code which does that.
> We have had the very same problem at Directory with BDB : the conclusion
> is that if we want to distribute a BDB backend, then it has to be done
> out of the ASF.
> Hope it helps, and that I'm not totally wrong...
> PS : in any case, the best to clarify this situation, as the chairman,
> would be to push this question to legal@a.o. I don't know if it has been
> done last year, but I think it should have ...
what we call human nature is actually human habit
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