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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: [jira] Created: (LEGAL-48) Legal category for GPLv3 license
Date Wed, 22 Apr 2009 17:03:44 GMT
> I've read that GPLv3 is definitely compatible with the Apache 2 license,
> yet our third party licensing policy page
> (http://www.apache.org/legal/3party.html) lumps GPLv2 and GPLv3 together
> as "GNU GPL".  It seems like the licensing policy page is out of date, but
> maybe I'm missing something -- is there an explicit reason why GPLv3 is in
> Category X?

Apache 2 software can be included in GPLv3 projects, because the GPLv3
license accepts our software into GPLv3 works. However, GPLv3 software
cannot be included in Apache projects. The licenses are incompatible in one
direction only, and it is a result of ASF's licensing philosophy and the
GPLv3 authors' interpretation of copyright law.

This licensing incompatibility applies *only* when some Apache project
software becomes a derivative work of some GPLv3 software, because then the
Apache software would have to be distributed under GPLv3. This would be
incompatible with ASF's requirement that all Apache software must be
distributed under the Apache License 2.0. 

We avoid GPLv3 software because merely linking to it is considered by the
GPLv3 authors to create a derivative work. We want to honor their license.
Unless GPLv3 licensors relax this interpretation of their own license
regarding linking, our licensing philosophies are fundamentally
incompatible. This is an identical issue for both GPLv2 and GPLv3.


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