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Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 16:58:46 +0200

On Sun, 21 May 2006 17:55:07 +0100
Ben <> wrote:

> I've a program I want to release under the GPL, it relies on a number
> of jar libraries covered under other licences such as Apache 2.0.

You mean that it uses/derives from classes in those libraries (like
e.g. Lucene?)

> Can I still distribute the software under the GPL or should I choose 
> another licence? 

Your source code is yours to license as you please. The fact that it
uses the Java mechanisms to call library code does not make it a
derivative work of these libraries. You use jars, meaning that you
didn't copy source code into your program, and thus the license of the
jars doesn't matter. 

Recipients of your GPLed code can without problems redistribute it.
They can prepare derivative works and redistribute those under the GPL.

The fact that in order to run your program they would have to ensure
that their computer is configured correctly (i.e. the jars are
available and in the classpath) doesn't influence your right to license
your own work as you see fit. 

> If so what would you recommend?

If it's wholly your work, license it under the license you want. If you
feel that what you wrote is not original enough, heed the wishes of the
authors of the stuff you used. 

Stefaan A Eeckels
The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself.
                                               -- Winston Churchill

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