[redland-dev] Redland license changes (Proposed)

Dave Beckett dave.beckett at bristol.ac.uk
Fri Aug 27 23:29:52 BST 2004

I've been thinking about this for some time and have pretty much
decided to change the license of the Redland libraries.  The change
would be:

   from LGPL 2.1/MPL 1.1     (effectively LGPL 2.1/GPL 2/MPL 1.1)
   to  LGPL 2.1/Apache 2.0   (effectively LGPL 2.1/GPL 2/Apache 2.0)

So why change?

In my opinion, the MPL isn't very widely used - it is mostly used by
the Mozilla project for the browser and it's components.  It is based
in US law and rather long(*).  This means there is a cost in
evaluating it, so people tend to use Redland's LGPL/GPL terms since
they are one of the most used licenses.

The Apache 2.0 license[1] has had widespread and detailed
consideration including issues with international law.  It is a
modern license, clear to read and easy to apply.  All the Apache
Software Foundation (ASF) projects either use it or will be switching
to it, and there are lots of similarly licensed BSD-style work that
are compatible.  It provides good terms for commercial users,
requiring just acknowledgement notices.  I've not written the notices
I'd use for Redland yet.

I think anyone who was using the Redland libraries under the MPL will
be fine with the Apache 2.0 license.  Of the commercial users I am
aware of, they are using the libraries under the LGPL so this
shouldn't affect them, or even be beneficial.

So why not Apache 2.0 alone?  There is still a dispute if it is
compatible with the GPL, and until the FSF and the ASF both agree
that they are compatible, I will be including explicit GPL
compatibility by using the LGPL 2.1.

This email is mostly to find out if this will cause people problems
before I actually make the change, probably in 7-10 days from now.
when I ship another release of the libraries.



(*) Yes so is the GPL/LGPL, but they are very common and familiar.

[1] Apache License, Version 2.0 http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
 or http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html  

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