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Old 01-29-2009, 12:52 PM
Antonio Diaz Sanchez
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

** Sorry, this is an off-topic question but I'm sure that Debian people know a lot about this issue.

** I know some people who is trying to license their software as dual-license. Their intention is to be also able to release a propietary version of their software. However, I know that they have used a lot of LGPL software to build it, so in my opinion it is not possible. Do they have the right to release the software as dual-license? In my opinion to release a software as dual-license either all the code has to be developed by you or the license has to be compatible. Is this right?

** Thank you
 
Old 01-29-2009, 04:02 PM
Bill Six
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGPL

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 8:52 AM, Antonio Diaz Sanchez <adiazsanchez@yahoo.es> wrote:



** Sorry, this is an off-topic question but I'm sure that Debian people know a lot about this issue.

** I know some people who is trying to license their software as dual-license. Their intention is to be also able to release a propietary version of their software. However, I know that they have used a lot of LGPL software to build it, so in my opinion it is not possible. Do they have the right to release the software as dual-license? In my opinion to release a software as dual-license either all the code has to be developed by you or the license has to be compatible. Is this right?


** Thank you
 
Old 01-29-2009, 10:27 PM
"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr."
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

On Thursday 2009 January 29 07:52:28 Antonio Diaz Sanchez wrote:
> Sorry, this is an off-topic question but I'm sure that Debian people know
> a lot about this issue.

I would be better discussion for debian-legal, but they aren't likely to take
it up without more specifics.

> I know some people who is trying to license their software as
> dual-license. Their intention is to be also able to release a propietary
> version of their software. However, I know that they have used a lot of
> LGPL software to build it, so in my opinion it is not possible. Do they
> have the right to release the software as dual-license? In my opinion to
> release a software as dual-license either all the code has to be developed
> by you or the license has to be compatible. Is this right?

It is certainly possible to build proprietary (or dual-licenced) software on
top of libraries you license under the LGPL. However, you must be careful;
any modifications to the LGPL libraries have to be licensed under the LGPL
(or GPL) and NOT a proprietary or dual license. Also, works that use the
LGPL libraries must be distributed in a way that allows the user to link with
their (possibly modified) version of the LGPL library.

Still, that's much easier than building proprietary or dual licensed work on
top of GPL software. The FSF's interpretation is basically that anytime GPL
licensed code is integral to the functioning of the larger work (dynamic
linking, static linking, IPC, *anytime*) the larger work must be licensed
under the GPL, effectively forbidding proprietary or dual licensed works from
being built on it.

As long as they are just *using* and *distributing unmodified copies of* the
LGPL software, they should be fine. If they are *modifying* and
*distributing modified versions of* the LGPL software *those versions* have
to be LGPL or GPL licensed. This was the intent of the LGPL -- to allow free
software to be a platform upon which non-free software *could* be used. (In
specific, Stallman wanted to be able to replace non-free software from the
bottom-up as well as from the top-down and, then, once the stack is complete
relicense the whole thing under the GPL [an "upgrade" path the LGPL allows).)

(This doesn't mention the license versions, but they are mostly tangential.)
--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/
 
Old 01-30-2009, 02:14 AM
Ron Johnson
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

On 01/29/2009 05:27 PM, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
[snip]


Still, that's much easier than building proprietary or dual licensed work on
top of GPL software. The FSF's interpretation is basically that anytime GPL
licensed code is integral to the functioning of the larger work (dynamic
linking, static linking, IPC, *anytime*) the larger work must be licensed
under the GPL, effectively forbidding proprietary or dual licensed works from
being built on it.


Note that Linus doesn't agree with that idea, which is why, for
example, the nvidia driver is allowed.


--
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

"I am not surprised, for we live long and are celebrated poopers."


--
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:32 AM
Jeff Soules
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

> Note that Linus doesn't agree with that idea, which is why, for example, the
> nvidia driver is allowed.

I think I'm confused -- in that case, wouldn't Linux be the larger
work, and the driver be a work that's linked in? nVidia of course has
the right to license their software however they like...?

-js

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM, Ron Johnson <ron.l.johnson@cox.net> wrote:
> On 01/29/2009 05:27 PM, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
> [snip]
>>
>> Still, that's much easier than building proprietary or dual licensed work
>> on top of GPL software. The FSF's interpretation is basically that anytime
>> GPL licensed code is integral to the functioning of the larger work (dynamic
>> linking, static linking, IPC, *anytime*) the larger work must be licensed
>> under the GPL, effectively forbidding proprietary or dual licensed works
>> from being built on it.
>
> Note that Linus doesn't agree with that idea, which is why, for example, the
> nvidia driver is allowed.


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Old 01-30-2009, 03:39 AM
Ron Johnson
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

On 01/29/2009 10:32 PM, Jeff Soules wrote:

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM, Ron Johnson <ron.l.johnson@cox.net> wrote:

On 01/29/2009 05:27 PM, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
[snip]

Still, that's much easier than building proprietary or dual licensed work
on top of GPL software. The FSF's interpretation is basically that anytime
GPL licensed code is integral to the functioning of the larger work (dynamic
linking, static linking, IPC, *anytime*) the larger work must be licensed
under the GPL, effectively forbidding proprietary or dual licensed works
from being built on it.

Note that Linus doesn't agree with that idea, which is why, for example, the
nvidia driver is allowed.

>

I think I'm confused -- in that case, wouldn't Linux be the
larger work, and the driver be a work that's linked in?


Yes, but it's *dynamically* linked. Linus takes (or, at least, he
took, the last time I cared to look) the position that dynamic
liking is fundamentally different than static linking.


--
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

"I am not surprised, for we live long and are celebrated poopers."


--
To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-user-REQUEST@lists.debian.org
with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact listmaster@lists.debian.org
 
Old 01-30-2009, 03:59 AM
"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr."
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

On Thursday 2009 January 29 21:14:39 Ron Johnson wrote:
>On 01/29/2009 05:27 PM, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
>[snip]
>
>> Still, that's much easier than building proprietary or dual licensed work
>> on top of GPL software. The FSF's interpretation is basically that
>> anytime GPL licensed code is integral to the functioning of the larger
>> work (dynamic linking, static linking, IPC, *anytime*) the larger work
>> must be licensed under the GPL, effectively forbidding proprietary or dual
>> licensed works from being built on it.
>
>Note that Linus doesn't agree with that idea, which is why, for
>example, the nvidia driver is allowed.

Not quite. Linus does not completely buy in to the FSF's interpretation (and
neither does at least one lawyer) -- that much is true. However, the reason
the NVidia is driver is allowed is that virtually no one distributes a
combination of GPL source and proprietary source. Instead, a GPL'd "shim" is
compiled against the kernel and that loads the proprietary code at runtime.

The running image of a tainted kernel is generally assumed to be
non-distributable, but no one wants to distribute it in the first place.
It's old, but http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/ols_2006_keynote.html talks
about this issue about half-way down. (The entire thing is a good read.)
This is more recent: [pdf]
http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/gregkh/lkm_position_statement/lkm_pos_statement.pdf
--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/
 
Old 01-30-2009, 04:03 AM
"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr."
 
Default from LGPL to dual-license?

On Thursday 2009 January 29 22:39:51 Ron Johnson wrote:
>On 01/29/2009 10:32 PM, Jeff Soules wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM, Ron Johnson <ron.l.johnson@cox.net>
wrote:
>>> On 01/29/2009 05:27 PM, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
>>> [snip]
>>>
>>>> The FSF's interpretation is basically that
>>>> anytime GPL licensed code is integral to the functioning of the larger
>>>> work (dynamic linking, static linking, IPC, *anytime*) the larger work
>>>> must be licensed under the GPL.
>>>
>>> Note that Linus doesn't agree with that idea.
>>
>> I think I'm confused -- in that case, wouldn't Linux be the
>> larger work?
>
>Yes, but it's *dynamically* linked. Linus takes (or, at least, he
>took, the last time I cared to look) the position that dynamic
>liking is fundamentally different than static linking.

While I didn't bookmark it and it would be incredibly difficult to find, there
is, on the internet, one review of the GPLv2 by a law professor that actually
touches on this. Executive Summary: Dynamic linking doesn't make a
derivative works any more than running two separate binaries from the same
RAM, so the FSF's position may be a bit "overzealous".
--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/
 

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