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From Ceki Gulcu <c...@qos.ch>
Subject Re: Move log4cplus' license to ASL 2.0.
Date Mon, 10 Aug 2009 16:30:23 GMT


Ralph Goers wrote:
> 
> On Aug 10, 2009, at 7:36 AM, Ceki Gulcu wrote:
>>
>>
>> The only question is then about clients who repackage and republish
>> Apache licensed software which happens to contain an LGPLed
>> library. Why should the ASF protect clients who choose to *publish*
>> their work under a closed license?
> 
> You've been a member here for years and you don't know the answer to that?

I have to admit that I actually don't know the answer. Do you?

>> I understand that the ASF does not wish to prevent software companies
>> from building commercial and closed-source products on top of Apache
>> licensed software.  However, if an Apache project, say P, decides to
>> rely on LGPLed software, say L, and if some software company, say C,
>> decides to build a product on top of P, then that's C's problem not
>> P's. Project P should be free to use L. Project P should only be
>> required to clearly state that they use LGPLed software but that
>> should be it. If company C still wishes to build a product on top of
>> P, then that's C's problem not P's.
> 
> That would be a fundamental change in direction for the ASF. The 
> position has always been that anyone can take an Apache project and do 
> what they want with it without any real restrictions. Depending on the 
> LGPL adds restrictions that violate that. See my other email for the 
> specifics.

Indeed. My understanding was that essentially the ASF was about
meritocracy and collaborative development. Protecting (in contrast to
allowing) closed-source development on top of our software is not a
goal of the foundation, at least not as far as I know.

 > I do find it ironic that you are posting these questions here since
 > I've had this same discussion with you to get you to change the
 > license for Logback to something besides the LGPL. I am having to
 > sandbox the Appenders I am writing for Logback to insure they will
 > never be distributed outside my employer's doors.

By licensing code under LGPL, my intention is not to force users to
change their license of their software which uses LGPLed software.
The LGPL requires the user to permit the reverse-engineering of
portions of the LGPLed library. Depending on your interpretation, this
requirement is limited to the usage of the library *or* to the whole
of the combined work. If the former interpretation is retained, then
it's an nop requirement. If you "just" use the library, you do not
have to change your license or do anything specific in relation with
LGPL. Note that this a very reasonable reading of the LGPL.

The ASF chose a conservative reading of the reverse-engineering
requirement. Even if that reading is correct and we will probably
never know, ASF bending backward to accommodate and protect
closed-source applications, is not necessarily the only path the
foundation could have chosen as there are other reasonable paths
available.


> Ralph
> 

-- 
Ceki Gülcü
Logback: The reliable, generic, fast and flexible logging framework for Java.
http://logback.qos.ch

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