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Re: Usage of Swish-E / GNU license

From: David Norris <dave(at)>
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 01:56:37 GMT
Chris Humphries wrote:
> I was wondering if anyone could answer this question: can one make use of
> the Swish-E engine on a commercial Web site?

Of course it can.  GPL's purpose is to offer total freedom to the user. 
GPL specifically removes restrictions such as this.  The only
restriction that GPL makes is that you cannot make GPL code proprietary
(non Free) if you give it to someone else.

> I know that Swish-E is distributed free under the terms of the GNU public
> license, 

Actually, it is covered under the Lesser (aka Library) GNU Public
License according to the source.  This adds one provision to the GPL. 
LGPL code can be incorporated into proprietary applications provided
that any modifications related to the LGPL code are freely available
under LGPL or GPL.

You might want to read through the two to see exactly how they differ.

> so does that mean one must provide a copy of that license with the
> installation, either by placing the document on the site or by providing a
> link to it?

Generally it is a good idea to include the license with the distribution
whatever that license may be.  SWISH-E seems to be missing it in the
dist, though.  Regardless, each source file makes reference to where one
can obtain a copy of the license.

There is really no need to reference that you have agreed to the LGPL on
a site using it.  Only if you give your copy of it away.  However, it is
nice to give credit to the software you are using especially if it is
GPL (or otherwise Free/Open).

,David Norris
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Received on Tue May 23 18:55:30 2000