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From "Smiley, David W." <dsmi...@mitre.org>
Subject Re: Building ASL code requiring LGPL 3rd party
Date Wed, 30 Mar 2011 18:03:55 GMT

On Mar 30, 2011, at 12:19 PM, Mattmann, Chris A (388J) wrote:

> On Mar 30, 2011, at 9:12 AM, Upayavira wrote:
>> 
>> The next question (asked somewhat rhetorically) is whether a project
>> would want to accept such code.

Of course -- committers can reject any code for whatever reason they please, wether licensing
related or not.  With this in mind, Lucene/Solr committers have shown a precedent for accepting
similarly licensed 3rd party code  included in this manner (Berkley DB).  So on this dimension
to my question, I don't see a problem for this particular ASF project.

>> And this, I see is for each project to decide. To my mind, it would be
>> quite acceptable for a project to refuse such code, because they want
>> their complete distribution to be Apache Licensed (with no
>> downloads/etc). While it may technically be possible and be acceptable
>> within ASF policy doesn't mean a project *should* accept the code.
> 
> 
> Yep this is my issue. 
> 
> Even if there is some (set of) technicality (technicalities) that satisfies the ASF policy,
as a downstream consumer of the software, I'd be wary. Who knows how understanding of any
of these topics will change.

Chris, that "understanding" is precisely why I am asking on the Apache legal-discuss list,
here, instead of making decisions (not using JTS) based on fear/uncertainty/doubt (FUD). 
Surely we don't want to make decisions based on FUD.  Given that you incepted Apache SIS,
a new competitor to JTS, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  But please don't continue to spread
FUD.

The bottom line, assuming Greg Stein's response is authoritative, is as follows:
* This issue (build/test time use of LGPL by ASL code) does not violate either license's terms.
* Lucene/Solr, being an ASF project, should/must comply with ASF policy[1], in which:
** ASF code should not ship with LGPL
** ASF code can use LGPL during the build[2]
** ASF code may rely on LGPL for "optional" features[3]
* A project may have a more restrictive policy.[4]

[1]: http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html
[2]: http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html#prohibited
[3]: http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html#optional

FYI the optional feature in question is not only optional but the JTS use will be optional
within that.  Most users who want this module within Lucene/Solr won't even need JTS.

Thanks for your time folks.

~ David Smiley
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