GPL and LGPL question

Seth David Schoen schoen at
Tue May 18 21:56:20 UTC 1999

Bruce Perens writes:

> From: "Pat St. Jean" <psj at>
> > Also, how does OSD part 3 protect the author of the code from what I
> > think (and this IS just MY _OPINION_) are malicious clauses in other
> > licenses, specifically the LGPL, clause 3.  A case can also be made that
> > LGPL clause 3 is in conflict with OSD part 7, depending on which legal
> > dictionary you're reading.
> It's not obvious what you are seeing here. Tell me how you come to these
> conclusions, please.


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OSD 7:

	The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the
	program is redistributed without the need for execution of an
	additional license by those parties.

While the rationale for OSD 7 makes clear that it wasn't _intended_ to
forbid something like LGPL 3, that clause in the LGPL still does provide
a means for a distributor to narrow -- permanently -- the rights
associated with a particular copy of a program, which means that some
people to whom the program is redistributed might not receive all of the
rights that were originally attached to it.

The "execution of an additional license" doesn't come into this question
at all, but the "all to whom the program is redistributed" does.

Perhaps OSD 7 should say "the rights guaranteed by the Open Source
Definition" instead of "the rights attached to the program".

                    Seth David Schoen <schoen at>
      They said look at the light we're giving you,  /  And the darkness
      that we're saving you from.   -- Dar Williams, "The Great Unknown"  (personal)  (CAF)

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