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From "Lawrence Rosen (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-192) Why is LGPL not allowed
Date Fri, 21 Feb 2014 04:02:19 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-192?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13907932#comment-13907932

Lawrence Rosen commented on LEGAL-192:

Joshua Gay asked:
> QED?

Not by a long shot! :-) I hope you didn't expect, just because you poked your head up to respond
to us, that at least some of us wouldn't try to whack it back....

Joshua also wrote:
> So, given my policy assumption, if you merge the codebase
> of an LGPLv3 licensed program with an Apache 2.0 licensed
> program to form a single combined program, and then
> redistribute this combination, third parties would not be
> able to redistribute (modified) versions of the program
> under proprietary licensing terms, and therefore this
> violates our policy assumption.

Your example of "merge" and "form a single combined program" (in the abstract, since those
terms have no legal precision whatsoever) describes what thousands of commercial companies
do and distribute every day under commercial licenses. What is your "policy assumption" in
light of that reality? When you ignore constant and obvious violations of that so-called policy,
is anything really a violation?

Second, I ask you to rationalize your reliance on the vague terms "merge" and "form a single
combined program" with this quotation from your own website:

     Applications which link to LGPL libraries need not be released under 
     the LGPL. Applications need only follow the requirements in section 6
     of the LGPL: allow new versions of the library to be linked with the 
     application; and allow reverse engineering to debug this.
     See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-java.html 

Proprietary software companies rely on this policy all the time to allow them to include LGPL
software with their proprietary applications. At least some Apache projects would like to
do the same with our FOSS software. 

All Apache projects already implement the requirements of section 6.

What FSF policy are you referring to that is violated by distributions of LGPL software in
combination with proprietary software? Is that policy reflected anywhere in the LGPL license
itself, particularly LGPLv3?

Please note that I am asking you to clarify only FSF policy! There is also some debate here
about *ASF* policy, but we'll deal with that internally in our own disorganized and confusing
way without needing FSF input.

Thanks again for trying to settle this discussion, and please keep trying.


> Why is LGPL not allowed
> -----------------------
>                 Key: LEGAL-192
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-192
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: Sam Halliday
> According to http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html the LGPL is not allowed because
>   "The LGPL is ineligible primarily due to the restrictions it places on larger works,
violating the third license criterion. Therefore, LGPL-licensed works must not be included
in Apache products."
> where part three is
>   "The license must not place restrictions on the distribution of larger works, other
than to require that the covered component still complies with the conditions of its license."
> But I see no conflict here with regard to distribution. The license clearly states that
software which uses LGPL software can be distributed under whatever license the developer
>   http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-2.1.html
> The LGPL does, however, require that any changes to the LGPL component is released as
LGPL (including source code).
> I have an LGPL library and there is a desire to see it included in an Apache project.
Since my project places no constraint on the distribution of the larger work, I do not see
why I should have to change the license in order to comply with these rules.
> If I was using the GPL, I would see your point. But this is the LGPL and it appears to
meet your objectives.

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