[jdom-interest] Imcompatibility with GPL

Tatu Saloranta cowtowncoder at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 28 08:22:30 PDT 2006

--- Henttonen Katja <Katja.Henttonen at vtt.fi> wrote:

> Hi!
> I tried to register a new free software project at
> Savannah and learned
> hat JDOM is not
> compatible with GPL and thus cannot be legally
> combined with GPL'ed
> libraries.
> I have previously heard several people claiming
> that, as JDOM uses a
> permissive
> BSD-style license, it should be GPL-compatible.  But
> I just found out that
> this is not the case.

Well, without knowing the source in question, I think
it'd be more accurate to say "someone claimed this is
not the case".

> Has anyone considered removing or changing the minor
> issues that make
> JDOM incompatible
> with GPL? Its a shame that I have to change to

It would first be necessary to know what these issues

Now, GPL and LGPL are (at least according to FSF
interpretation) mostly incompatible with most other
free or open source licenses: claim is (from both FSF
and Apache, though) that LGPL and ASL would be
incompatible. For a non-lawyer this seems silly
(discussion on java class loading forming static
linking and all)... but since parties in question are
somewhat authoritative, it's hard to argue against it.

FSF has clear agenda in trying to make all open source
developers use GPL. Most open source organizations
that work more closely with companies (like Apache
foundation) abhor GPL. There is clear chism between
two camps.

> another XML parser. =(

One thing to note, though, is that it is not
necessarily impossible to use components with
incompatible licenses together, but it quite often
impossible to distribute them together. Open source /
free software licenses tend to focus on distribution
rights, and leave use rights unaffected.

So if you were only using resulting code for your own
use, this probably wouldn't be a problem. Ironically,
it's actual free/open source aspects of sharing that
would cause problems.

-+ Tatu +-

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