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Re: GPL + Exception Clause vs The GPL FAQ

From: Brian Jones
Subject: Re: GPL + Exception Clause vs The GPL FAQ
Date: 06 Aug 2001 20:09:02 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.0803 (Gnus v5.8.3) Emacs/20.7

"Regier Avery J" <address@hidden> writes:

> Hello,
> I'm a long time lurker on this list and a member of the JOS project.  We're
> having a licensing discussion going on right now, and at issue is the
> following GPL FAQ entry by the FSF:
>       In an object-oriented language such as Java, if I use a class that
> is GPL'ed without modifying, and subclass it, in what way does the GPL
> effect the larger program? 
>       Subclassing is creating a derivative work. Therefore, the terms of
> the GPL effect the whole program where you create a subclass of a GPL'ed
> class.
> We in the JOS project have a general concensus that this is evil.  Is it the
> opinion of the Classpath project that:
> 1) the GPL + the Classpath Exception Clause make the above FAQ entry
> incorrect for Classpath?

The FAQ entry covers GPL'd classes, specifically the case of
subclassing.  Most of Classpath is covered by the exception clause.
My opinion, though IANAL, is that developers using Classpath have more
freedoms than they do with equivalent Sun provided libraries or source code.

> 3) how does the exception clause affact JVM's using classpath in this
> respect?

Our license does not cause resulting executables to be viralently
covered by the GPL as well.  Basically the Blackdown team could port
Sun's VMs to Classpath and it would be okay with our license though
I'm sure it would not be with theirs.

> 4) What known licenses are 'compatible' with Classpath?  Must we use a GPL
> or LGPL or GPL + exception for our project in order to make use of
> Classpath?

Classpath is largely a set of libraries (with a few small GPL'd
applications).  The exception clause largely takes our license out of
the equation when deducing license compatibility.  At this time, the
AWT is not covered by this exception clause so you would have to
consider whatever license it is under at the time.

> 5) is dual licensing an option?

You could consider it licensed as either GPL or GPL+exception almost
in whole (see 4.)

Brian Jones <address@hidden>

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