Physical file organisation of any bearing to LGPL?

Mark Wielaard mark at
Wed Aug 4 21:18:06 UTC 2010

On Wed, 2010-08-04 at 11:42 -0700, Wilson, Andrew wrote:
> And thanks again for the comprehensive info on library licensing.  To which,
> let me say, Whew!  So, over time, for various libraries, FSF has used
> LGPLv2.1
> GPLv2 + Classpath exception
> GPLv2 + runtime exception (similar to Classpath but subtly different)
> LGPLv3
> (L)GPLv3 + runtime exception (subtly different from the GPLv2 runtime exception)

There are even parts under the MIT/W3C or even public domain if you want
to list even more :) In the end the FSF is pretty pragmatic. If the
circumstances are such that an "lesser" or "exception" is warranted then
they often are very willing to work together on such things (as the
history of GNU Classpath and GCC shows). If the technical circumstances
are such that it makes sense and it isn't just a ploy for limiting user
freedom feel free to ask and you might be pleasantly surprised by the
cooperative nature of most hackers.

> Let me just reiterate that anyone who really cares about getting license
> compliance just right needs to consult with a real lawyer....

:) Don't encourage the lawyers! All these exception are always designed
so that you can just drop them and/or upgrade to the plain or higher
license version. So just choosing some upper bound (GPLv3 in this case)
and making sure that when stripping the exceptions/lesser licenses
results in having one and the same (upper bound) license is often much
simpler. As long as you aren't trying to cut corners (limiting users
freedom) that is often simpler than trying to consult a lawyer "to get
the most" out of these exceptions. All these exceptions really just
remove some obligations in certain circumstances (for specific corner
cases, which often result in less user freedom). So picking the upper
bound and just sticking to the rules and forgetting about the exceptions
is the right thing to do. And makes things much simpler for you and your
users since there is just one license to follow.



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