[jvr-general] LGPL and Java: Not viral
kevino at jerboa.ca
Fri Jul 2 09:59:52 CDT 2004
Phew! There's nothing like a good OSS license debate to make me
grateful I'm not a lawyer. :)
I found this post to the debian-legal mailing list from Dave Turner
where he states that the original Slashdot article that started the ball
rolling on the LGPL and Java issue was largely a misunderstanding.
For myself, I am comfortable that the LGPL can be used for JVR and still
allow another work to be distributed under other licenses. Since in
"object" form JVR is really just two files (jvr.jar and
jvr.dll/libjvr.so) you can include in your work three things:
* jvr.jar and the native library for the intended platform.
* jvr-X-Y.zip - the original download of JVR so that the source for
JVR, the LGPL licenses, etc are included.
* Comply with various other LGPL requirements that are not specific
to source code (Copyright statements, etc).
Specifically 6(b) is what makes the LGPL and Java work:*
*b)* Use a suitable shared library mechanism for linking with the
Library. A suitable mechanism is one that (1) uses at run time a
copy of the library already present on the user's computer system,
rather than copying library functions into the executable, and (2)
will operate properly with a modified version of the library, if the
user installs one, as long as the modified version is
interface-compatible with the version that the work was made with.
Hypothetically if you put JVR in c:\jvr then it is "already present on
the user's computer". I would consider that the same as
c:\yourapplication\lib\ext\jvr. As for (2) that basically means that
your work will still function if the JVR libraries are replaced with
Any classes that you write would go in your own jar/dll/so files. While
they may contain some information derived from JVR that's what the LGPL
provides for and you are not forced to license that work under the LGPL.
>I hope that wasn't too big of a push to go the way of Apache. Thoughts?
:) Not at all - it forced me to finally do some research and come to a
decision. I'm still open to more debate if you think I've really missed
something but hopefully the LGPL will work for you. If so, let me know
and I'll change the licensing and release JVR 0.5 under the LGPL.
kevino at jerboa.ca
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