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Re: SWISH-E License

From: Bill Moseley <moseley(at)>
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 04:45:24 GMT
On Wed, May 21, 2003 at 07:03:23PM -0700, David L Norris wrote:
> On Wed, 2003-05-21 at 20:05, Greg Ford wrote:
> > If swish-e was LGPL then I would have no legal right to the code I just
> > wrote. 
> Well, LGPL gives you an out specifically for situations like that.  LGPL
> has a provision (Terms and Conditions section 3) which allows you to
> switch the license to the GPL before transfering a copy to someone
> else.  Meaning, although they could download SWISH-E under LGPL you
> could transfer your copy to them under GPL.  You simply have to go
> through the sources and make the changes outlined in that above
> mentioned section.

We, the developers, hold copyright.  That allows us to change the license as we are 
discussing now.  Thus, it also means that we can grant license to others, if I understand 
correctly.  In other words, we can stay GPL and grant another license to someone when they 
ask.  So that's another option.

I'm still not clear with GPL what defines a "derivative" work. Under GPL could one provide,
say, a proprietary software product, yet include swish-e for searching their HTML docs, as
long as they say it's swish-e and provide a copy of the GPL license?  Would sharing a CD-ROM
with swish-e force their code to be GPL?   It doesn't under LGPL, from my reading.  Doesn't 
seem like it under GPL, either.

Then there's this bit:

Section 5 of the LGPL says:

5. A program that contains no derivative of any portion of the Library, but is designed to
work with the Library by being compiled or linked with it, is called a "work that uses the
Library". Such a work, in isolation, is not a derivative work of the Library, and therefore
falls outside the scope of this License.

However, linking a "work that uses the Library" with the Library creates an executable that 
is a derivative of the Library (because it contains portions of the Library), rather than a 
"work that uses the library". The executable is therefore covered by this License. Section 6 
states terms for distribution of such executables. 

Huh?  Oh that's real clear.

I'm having a hard time comparing that to Swish-e.  Swish-e has a C library.  Actually, 
almost all the code is part of a library.  So the line between library and program is not so 

Now where did I put that gin?  

Bill Moseley
Received on Thu May 22 04:45:33 2003