LGPL viral for Java?

Blogging Roller: LGPL viral for Java?

Andy Oliver: I clarified the LGPL in Java issue with the FSF and posted to poi-dev. According to the FSF, the LGPL is indeed viral towards Java code. Thus, in essence GPL and LGPL are the same for Java. You could still find that the copyright holder of a particular software package held a different view and is willing to state that explicitly, but it looks like the Apache Software Foundation and Sam were right and I was wrong.

To echo the statement by Dave: "This sucks".

The problem is: the Lesser Gnu Public License text was designed in a time when languages like Java did not exist, and thus the wording is imprecise with respect to dynamically binding languages.

Of course, there is a certain "rivalry" between different Open Source and Free Software factions, which makes that people tend to read the licenses with extra ... accuracy, but if it is the official position of the FSF that LGPL is viral for Java programs, then I have no choice but to seek a new license for JSPWiki.

I would otherwise go Apache, but I would still like to retain control over my code, so I need a license that would be "LGPL" in spirit, but would also work for Java. There's some discussion already over at Hacking Blog.

But really, I want to hear from a FSF representative or an attorney that LGPL is indeed viral for Java before I actually make a license change.


If you own the copyright you can just state your intentions kind of like gnu classpath does. No need to relicense.

--, 17-Jul-2003

Basically yes, but in most cases people just look at the license saying "oh, it's LGPL" and never bother to look further.

--JanneJalkanen, 17-Jul-2003

Just create your own license in the spirit to the ASF license, like we did for xReporter: http://xreporter.cocoondev.org/license.html

--StevenNoels, 01-Aug-2003

Take a look at the Jabber Open Source License. I think it's as close to LGPL on control as you can get without being locked up in political maneuvering.

--JackPark, 28-Aug-2003

Janne - Have you decided if you're going to re-license? Apache would be great? Please? Thanks! -Matt

--Matt Payne, 15-Dec-2003

I'll stick with LGPL - it seems that the scare was just a bit too hasty.

--JanneJalkanen, 16-Dec-2003

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"Main_blogentry_160703_1" last changed on 16-Jul-2003 19:56:33 EEST by JanneJalkanen.