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

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 14:34:45 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Ben writes:
> The third party jars are used via method calls, not by inheritance. Even
> so the GPL is too vague. I suspect as a small development if it went to
> court I could argue that there was no intent to deliberately violate the
> licence, I intended to benefit society, and due to the vagueness of the
> licence the general consensus/common sense would hold true. However I
> won't be releasing the software under GPL (yet) because of the potential
> risk.

If you are the sole copyright owner there is no risk of you being sued.
The license is a conditional grant from you to others.  If they fail to
comply with the conditions you can sue them for copyright infringement, but
no one has standing to sue you for "violating" your own license.

The problem with doing as you propose is that no one will distribute your
package because they cannot be sure that they can do so without running
afoul of your conflicting terms.

Just provide exceptions as I suggested in another article.  This is a
well-established practice.  It may be superfluous, but without it your
package is not going to get distributed by anyone but you.
John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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