OSL for libraries (was Re: Submitted for Approval: OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0)
gk at bwh.harvard.edu
Mon Sep 12 12:29:07 UTC 2005
Again my query specifically relates to applying OSL 3.0 to a library;
I do not intend to create a diversion from discussing the general
merits of OSL and AFL in more typical circumstances.
On Sep 11, 2005, at 11:49 PM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> OSL 3.0 section 1(a) authorizes the copying of your library into a
> collective work without imposing reciprocity obligations on your
> for their own independent creations.
Understood. The LGPL does this as well, but LGPL Section 6
additionally imposes requirements that distributors of an executable
linked with the library enable users of the executable to link it
with their own modifications of the library. With dynamic linking,
this is no problem; with static linking (which I believe is more
common in embedded applications), this is sufficiently annoying that
many developers are wary of LGPL Section 6. LGPL Section 6 also
defines attribution requirements.
I think it is significant to point out that wxWindows (http://
www.opensource.org/licenses/wxwindows.php), FLTK (http://www.fltk.org/
COPYING.php), and FOX (http://www.fox-toolkit.org/license.html) are
all widget toolkits, and that the licenses for these all have their
own exception notices layered on top of LGPL to, among other things,
nix the requirement to enable relinking. A widget toolkit is to me an
ideal model for what is an independently distributed software
library, so I think its worthwhile to note how those licenses have
tweaked the LGPL to fit their needs.
Along the same lines, I think its informative to consider in more
detail how OSL 3.0, as applied to a library, fits into the landscape
of these existing library licenses.
* Is the author of a collective work which includes a copy of my
library required to enable users of the collective work to swap out
my library and replace it with their own modification of the
library? This is the somewhat onerous burden of LGPL Section 6.
* Is the author of such a collective work required to notify users
that the collection includes a copy of my library, by identifying the
name of my library, or by duplicating the copyright notice that
accompanies my library? This is required by LGPL, FLTK, and FOX.
* If there is such an attribution requirement, how can I waive it?
wxWindows does away with any attribution requirements.
* If the author of the collective work decides that my library needs
some modifications prior to its copying into the collective work,
must he or she first independently license the modified library under
OSL 3.0? I believe your previous message answers this in the
affirmative, so in this respect OSL 3.0 is, as you said, like LGPL,
as well as well FLTK and FOX, but unlike wxWindows.
* If my library in source form is licensed under OSL 3.0, doesn't its
compilation (in the computer science sense) into binary object code
form create a derived work of my library, since compiling is one kind
of "translation"? If so, linking an executable with my *compiled*
library creates a collective work, but the collection does not
include a "copy" of my library. Thus, I worry that OSL 3.0 Section 1
(a) doesn't apply to executables which link against my library, post-
compilation. But do tell me if I'm being stupid here.
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