Borrowing Code Licensing

  • Alex

    Alex - 2004-11-30

    Vicaya's value is its ability to run locally in many environments requiring no installation (beyond standard and ubiquitous tools). It is not unique as far as searching and indexing. I see no reason to duplicate those later efforts. Therefore, I would like to start evaluating other Lucene based products in order to find a product matching the search and indexing goals of Vicaya.

    I have been considering changing, adding, or writing a new license for Vicaya. However, after thoughtful feedback from the project mentors and rereading the terms of the LGPL, I believe the LGPL to be a fantastic document, whose implications will have positive and lasting change far into the future. I would like to recommend it for Buddhist publications as well.

    Food for thought:

    Spirit of the License

    The LGPL makes the source code:

    -- open:
    ---- right to view the source code

    -- free:
    ---- right to modify, distribute, and/or sell

    -- copyleft:
    ---- preserves the above rights in all derivatives

    -- includable:
    ---- right to use with clearly separated code
    ---- (this differentiates LGPL from GPL)

    The Apache License is not copyleft (but is compatible with the LGPL, except regarding patents) and has undesirable attribution requirements.


    Vicaya Search Tools

    Copyright (C) 2004 November = Alexander E Genaud
    (relinquishing all copyright to the public domain after ten years)

    Feel free to redistribute and/or modify Vicaya under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License 2.1 as published by the Free Software Foundation ( Humans are encouraged make this notice clearly visible and to distribute the source, if any, at no additional charge by the same distribution method. Vicaya is distributed in the hope that it will be of benefit to all beings, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

    • Hugo Gayosso

      Hugo Gayosso - 2004-11-30

      I am more than happy with the GNU LGPL.

      One typo:

      It says: "...Humans are encouraged make this notice clearly..."

      Should say: "...Humans are encouraged to make this notice clearly..."

      That is:  ADD the word "to".

      Also, what about if instead of "Humans" it says "Users and developers"?

    • Hugo Gayosso

      Hugo Gayosso - 2004-11-30

      Now, for Buddhists publications, there are a few other licenses that are text-specific (The GNU GPL and GNU LGPL are for software).

    • Alex

      Alex - 2004-12-01

      General PL in General

      My complaints of, and reasons for considering alternatives to, the General Public License are as follows:

      1) It is not clear and obvious
         (Apache 2.0 reads much better)
      2) The preamble is a Stallman manifesto
      3) Source code and the FDL should be harmonized
         (code should be a subset of possible works)
      4) The LGPL should only differ in the definition
         of "a complete work"

      I think harmonizing the three licenses, eliminating the revolutionary chatter, and making it very clear for the laity will make it a more viable, respected, and wide-spread license.

      Concerns for Vicaya

      As far as I know, no patents pertain to Vicaya, so I see no reason why Apache and LGPL (or even GPL) should conflict. I am not clear about the distinction between linking to, linking from, and combining separately licensed code. Vicaya uses Apache licensed code. In general Apache licensed code will not depend on Vicaya.

      However, there are a countable number of instances where an Apache licensed demonstration file has been copied, modified and depend on both Apache licensed code and other code that I wrote. Those modified files have been (or soon will be) noted as modified by me to comply with the terms of the Apache license. The files themselves are very small and each instance of copied code is less than ten lines.

      What disturbs me a bit is the fact Vicaya and Lucene are not what the LGPL defines as side-by-side. Vicaya depends on Lucene and will not successfully compile without Lucene. Lucene library remains intact and does compile with and without Vicaya.

      Bottom Line

      Is Vicaya best served with a single license (LGPL 2.1 or Apache 2.0) or both the LGPL and Apache? Does a dual-license mean that both apply or each is applicable at the recipients' discretion? Is that something I can state? Which is better?

      ...And other questions dependant on the answers to these...

      Note that Sourceforge requires an OSI approved license. I'm prepared to take responsibility for the decision. Feel free to comment in the forum or by personal email.

    • Alex

      Alex - 2004-12-03

      Here's a good article that eloquently discusses my issues with various open source licenses (L/GPL in particular):

      Copyleft aside, I don't see the point of a license at all except to make known second party rights known. As in: "you MAY copy, modify, and distribute this code in any format."


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