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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Release Apache Ignite (Incubating) 1.0-RC3
Date Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:06:34 GMT
On Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 10:01 PM, Branko ─îibej <> wrote:

> says, on the topic of GPL and
> similar:
>     Apache projects cannot distribute any such components. However, if
>     the component is only needed for optional features, a project can
>     provide the user with instructions on how to obtain and install the
>     non-included work. Optional means that the component is not required
>     for standard use of the product or for the product to achieve a
>     desirable level of quality.
> Given the above, why are we still discussing this?

After further research, here's where I stand:

*   I'm not going to vote on Ignite's release candidates based on this issue.
*   I agree that that passage appears to grant permission for Apache products
    to offer non-core features implemented against GPL-only interfaces.
*   I question whether that interpretation was intended.  LGPL libraries
    yes, GPL libraries no.  (FWIW, we haven't even confirmed that Ignite
    implements against any GPL-only interfaces.)

LEGAL-54, the issue where that language was formulated, discusses LGPL
libraries and GPL build tools, but not GPL libraries.

See also this message from Sam Ruby (Legal VP at the time) which
differentiates between LGPL and GPL libraries:

Another issue discusses "optional" components including GPL libraries behind a
generic interface:

> When Subversion was incubating, 5 or so years ago, we went through the
> same discussion regarding our dependency on Neon, even though it was
> optional and Subversion works fine without any DAV plugin at all.
> Subversion graduated while still having this (optional) dependency.

All the discussion that I was able to find (the most important stuff was on
private lists over a decade ago) talks about Neon as *LGPL*.

> If you want to question Ignite's optional dependency on GPL code, you
> should start by changing the published policy and making all TLPs throw
> out such dependencies.
> Not gonna happen, right?

I'm not going to go to the wall over this; I'm content to raise the point so
that an interpretation I think may be faulty does not establish unchallenged
precedent.  The risks are low, I'm not an lawyer, and the case law on whether
API usage even creates a derivative work is in flux -- see Google vs. Oracle
and appeals.

Please carry on.

Marvin Humphrey

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