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From Niclas Hedhman <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Apache OpenMeetings incubator for Web Conferencing
Date Fri, 30 Oct 2009 04:01:02 GMT
2009/10/29 Alexei Fedotov <>:

> How does LGPL place restrictions on larger works?

The main issue is section 6 in LGPL, namely we would have to ensure
that downstream users are allowed to reverse engineer the "derived
works". So what does that really mean?

LGPL defines linking to it with dynamic languages as "derived work",
so IF you 'depend' on the LGPL library your work is "a derivative
work" of that library. Therefor, the library owner places restrictions
on how this combination may or may not be used. A typical scenario,

1. Apache Foo depends on LGPL library Bar.
2. Company XYZ creates a variant of Foo, licenses it commercially,
still depending on Bar.
3. Company XYZ MUST now allow their product to be reverse engineered,
to resolve issues of upgrading of Bar by XYZ's customers.
4. Hence we must place the same Section 6 restriction on Foo, which is
against our policy.

Many (not all) commercial licenses prohibits reverse engineering of
the code, and Apache is all about allowing commercialization of our


And the reason we basically allow optional dependencies on LGPL work
is because XYZ would then both have a choice. Such "optionality" also
has a tendency to make the Foo codebase modular, allowing XYZ to make
its own implementation of the troubled code.

Niclas Hedhman, Software Developer - New Energy for Java

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