Choosing a license

Bruce Alspaugh compulinkltd at
Thu May 10 21:14:00 UTC 2007

I thought about the MPL, but then I read there is a complicating factor 
that MPL and GPL code cannot legally be linked together.  We need to be 
able to link with LGPL code as well.

If I exercise the provision in the MPL to allow a choice of the LGPLv2.1 
I should be compatible.  Have I then allowed people to bypass the patent 
provisions in the MPL?  Would the LGPLv3 alone or together with MPL fix 


Mitchell Baker wrote:
> The MPL might meet your needs.  Specifically designed to do the things 
> you mention.  Hasn't been updated in a while; still reasonably well 
> known and used as a license.
> mitchell
> Smith, McCoy wrote:
>> Lgpl is being revised simultaneous with gpl.  See current draft (and
>> other information about that draft and prior drafts) here:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Bruce Alspaugh [mailto:compulinkltd at] Sent: Thursday, 
>> May 10, 2007 1:21 PM
>> To: license-discuss at
>> Subject: Choosing a license
>> My company is considering releasing a software library under an 
>> open-source license, but since we are developers not lawyers we could 
>> use some advise in selecting the most appropriate license. We would like
>> to choose a license with the following characteristics:
>> 1.  We want to allow others to link closed-source or commercial software
>> with our open-source software library. We would like for them to give 
>> notice or acknowledgment that the work was used in it.
>> 2.  If someone modifies the source of the library, we want to require 
>> them to release the modification so we could at our option legally 
>> include the modification in future versions of the library.
>> 3.  We would like to protect ourselves and contributors to the 
>> open-source software library when it comes to software patents.  We like
>> provision 3 of the Apache 2.0 license.
>> Can you give us a list of software licenses that have these 
>> characteristics? The LGPL looks close but I don't see anything like 
>> characteristic 3.  The Apache 2.0 looks close, but I think it lacks 
>> characteristic 2.
>> Are there any plans to revise the LGPL when the GPLv3 is finished to 
>> better deal with patents?
>> Sincerely,
>> Bruce

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