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From Doug Cutting <>
Subject Re: [Nutch-dev] jar licenses
Date Thu, 03 Mar 2005 18:53:53 GMT
I'm just going by, which is quite 
clear on this issue.  As a rationale, this states, "Anyways, legal 
advice given to the ASF is to not to be tied to an LGPL license as the 
LGPL is feasibly as viral as GPL. This isn't just some NIH view the ASF 
have. Lawrence Rosen's latest book Open Source Licensing seems to repeat 
the view."  So I don't think this policy is an uninformed result of 
reading a Slashdot discussion, but rather an informed legal opinion.


Jack Park wrote:
> I'm sure this is not the place to debate the LGPL issue, but I thought 
> that David Turner put that issue to bed when he said [1]:
> <quote>
> It has always been the FSF's position that dynamically linking 
> applications to libraries creates a single work derived from both the 
> library code and the application code. The GPL requires that all 
> derivative works be licensed under the GPL, an effect which can be 
> described as "hereditary." So, if an application links to a library 
> licensed under the GPL, the application too must be licensed under the 
> GPL. By contrast, libraries licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public 
> License (LGPL) may be linked to proprietary applications.
> In July of 2003, Slashdot published a story claiming that I had claimed 
> that the LGPL did not function as intended in the case of Java. This 
> story was based on a misunderstanding of a response to a question sent 
> to, and many attempts to clarify the issue in the 
> Slashdot story did not get across.. I have recieved numerous questions 
> about the story since, via both and personal email.
> FSF's position has remained constant throughout: the LGPL works as 
> intended with all known programming languages, including Java. 
> 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.
> </quote>
> Jack
> [1]
> Doug Cutting wrote:
>> Now that we're hosted at Apache, we need to obey Apache conventions.  
>> In particular, we must be careful adding jar files to the source code 
>> repository.  The rules, as I understand them are:
>>  - If the jar uses the same license as Nutch (APL 2.0), then it can be 
>> included without any issues.
>>  - If the jar uses GPL or LGPL then it may not be included. 
>> (
>>  - Sun's Java Activation Framework may not be included. 
>> (
>>  - Jars available under BSD-like licenses can be included, but they 
>> need to be committed with a copy of their license.
>> I tried to obey these rules when I committed the initial revision of 
>> Nutch to Apache.  There were a few problems.  We had three plugins 
>> that were dependent on Sun's activation.jar (protocol-file, 
>> protocol-ftp, & index-more) and two that were dependent on LGPL'd jars 
>> (parse-mp3 & parse-rdf).  I removed the offending jars and commented 
>> these plugins out of src/plugin/build.xml, so that they will not break 
>> compilation.
>> If you can, please try to make these plugins acceptable to Apache.  We 
>> could do this either by replacing the offending jars, or alternately, 
>> we could change build.xml to download required jars directly, if 
>> they're available via a simple HTTP GET.
>> Doug
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