#1 license compatibility of external libraries

Defect
closed-fixed
mikeu
Licensing (1)
6
2010-11-05
2009-07-24
mikeu
No

The licensing of packages required to run VStar needs to be checked to insure that they can be redistributed with a VStar installer.

Discussion

  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-07-24

    list of required and optional packages and the license for each

     
    Attachments
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-07-25

    • priority: 5 --> 7
     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-07-25

    • labels: --> Licensing
     
  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-07-25

    For web hosted copies of VStar the "Affero clause" will likely necessitate a prominent link to the source code (within the user interface) for network users.

     
  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-07-26

    The Sun license for the Java Look and Feel Graphics Repository has the odd provision that "you do not utilize the software graphics artwork in a manner which is disparaging to Sun." Also, the graphics can not be modified. See http://java.sun.com/developer/techDocs/hi/repository/ and click "Download" then "Software License Agreement"

     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-09-11

    • milestone: --> Defect
     
  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-09-24

    I would say that it is probably safe to include the following in our dist of extlib as long as there is a readme.txt that explains where to obtain the source code.

    jcommon-1.0.16.jar GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2.1
    jfreechart-1.0.13.jar GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2.1
    swing-worker-1.2.jar GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2.1
    mysql-connector-java-5.0.8-bin.jar GNU General Public License, version 2

    It is rather important to try to bundle as much as possible for ease of use, for those who just want to run the software, while providing links to the source for the more ambitious.

    The Sun license for the Java Look and Feel Graphics Repository does not look like a free license, and that one is still an open issue.

     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-10-01

    Hi Mike. I completely agree about making things as easy as possible for VStar users and developers alike actually. :)

     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-11-07

    • priority: 7 --> 8
     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-12-09

    Mike, we may want to think about closing this one now. With the combination of WebStart and the license info in our docs, we may have satisfied this. What are your thoughts?

     
  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-12-12

    The jar files and licensing info has been committed to svn, and the ReadMe files updated, with revision 332. Please review.

    I am confident that the LGPL and GPL licensed libraries are compatible with the license used by VStar. The links within the UI Help technically satisfy the Affero clause, but this really should be improved to ease downloading of source for VStar and extlib packages from within the UI.

    FYI, I still have concerns about the terms of the Sun License which has some restrictive terms that are likely incompatible with the GNU Affero GPL that VStar source uses. While it is "free as in beer" it does not appear to be "free as in freedom" and probably fails to meet the criteria of the FSF Free Software Definition at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html due to the restrictions on modifying the graphics. The main point is "you may not modify the graphics, and must use them true to color and unmodified in every way." The additional bit about not disparaging Sun is downright idiosyncratic.

    I'm not too concerned about including jlfgr at the moment, but in the long term we might want to explore alternatives that use a GNU GPL compatible license. See this url for some free alternatives: http://javabyexample.wisdomplug.com/java-concepts/37-core-java/65-20-free-look-and-feel-libraries-for-java-swings.html

     
  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-12-12

    • priority: 8 --> 1
    • status: open --> open-accepted
     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-12-13

    I have been avoiding this because of the licensing concerns, of all the other things there have been to do, and because we have WebStart accessibility for end-users and testers now.

    Having said that, I am satisfied that your additions are sufficient, with, as you say, the possible exception of the Sun L&F jar. I guess we have a couple of options here:

    o As you suggest: replace it.
    o Don't include it in svn, requiring it to be the sole jar that must be downloaded.

    I'm not happy with the second option. I'm not keen on the first either, but ultimately that may be the one we have to go with. We could also contact Sun to ask them whether what we re doing is okay. From my viewpoint, by including the license, it *ought* to be okay. We certainly have no intention of modifying the graphics, but as you say, that's not compatible with GPL, and given that this is a GPL project, we cant guarantee that all future VStar developers will have the same intention.

    I guess we have a couple of other options actually:

    o Change the license or dual-license it
    o Ask Nico or someone else on CS to create new icons (or use a free library; I looked at this briefly early on)

    Do you want to seek further input, e.g. from Doc, Sara, Arne?

     
  • mikeu
    mikeu
    2009-12-13

    I'm not sure that we want to reinvent the wheel by creating an icon library. I would rather see the CS artists work on more interesting projects like a VStar specific desktop icon and About box artwork. I'm not at all keen on leaving the library out, but the restrictions on the Sun jlfgr stick in the craw of this open open source zealot. I'd say that using one of the icon libraries that is already GPL licensed is the best and easiest way to go. Again, this is not so urgent, but more for long term planning.

     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-12-13

    I tend to agree. I don't think we want to reinvent such icons and should just find a free (as in beer) set. I would suggest that we close this tracker and raise another for that specific task. We should give it a relatively high priority so this is not hanging around too long.

    This is unfortunately one of those things that should be done not because it adds any value to the app, but because we need to be squeaky clean.

     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2009-12-23

    • priority: 1 --> 6
     
  • David Benn
    David Benn
    2010-10-28

    • status: open-accepted --> open-fixed
     
  • Sara Beck
    Sara Beck
    2010-11-05

    • status: open-fixed --> closed-fixed