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From "John D. Ament" <>
Subject Re: Help with Dependency Licensing
Date Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:56:19 GMT
On Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 8:40 PM Mike Jumper <>

> On Apr 11, 2017 17:29, "Niclas Hedhman" <> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 12:31 AM, Mike Jumper <>
> wrote:
> >
> > Even in the case of the GPL, my understanding is that the virality takes
> > hold upon linking (at build time), not upon referencing the API via an
> > import, include, etc. in the source.
> >
> Your understanding is, simply put, not aligned with the FSF, and the ASF
> has decided to follow FSF's conclusion. In fact, a former Director at ASF
> and lawyer, Larry Rosen, was trying to fight this stance, basically making
> the claim that GPL is overreaching, and that ended with Larry being kicked
> out (not only for this particular question).
> <quote src="" emphasis="mine">
> It has always been the FSF's position that *dynamically linking
> applications to libraries creates a single work derived* from both the
> library code and the application code
> Sorry, but I don't see the disagreement between the above statement and
> "the
> virality takes hold upon linking (at build time)". Doesn't this creation of
> a derivative work, even in the FSF interpretation, occur at the time of
> linking, and not at the time that the source is written?
> A piece of uncompiled source code is not yet linked. Linking is part of the
> build and/or runtime processes.
Mike, if I had to guess, the problem is two pieces.  Assumptions about
licenses in use, and assumptions about how build tools work.  What you're
describing sounds like GPL and statically linked libraries.  The Cat-X
section applies to many licenses, many languages.  For instance, JSON
license was moved to Cat-X due to a "do no harm" clause.  Some of the
original licensing comments I cited were based on a discussion around
non-transitive licenses, such as LGPL and Amazon Software License.

If I had to summarize some next steps - anytime you're dealing with Cat-X,
seek out legal (not incubator) opinion, review existing discussions (even
if not captured on the website) and wait for a decision.  All Cat-X is
never in source format, never as a binary must-have core dependency, and
typically a very rare case where a binary optional dependency is OK.

> - Mike

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