Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

Re: [chat] LGPL license w/o GPL infection

On Sun, 14 Oct 2001, Andre Pang wrote:

> i'm looking for a license similar to the LGPL, but with no
> 'infection' if you statically link the source code into another
> program.  what i'm after is this:
>     1. If you modify the source code, you must make your
>        modifications freely available under the same license.
>     2. If your project uses this code, you do _not_ have to make
>        your project available under the same license.

The big question is, where is the line between using your code and modifying
your code?  If you published the following line of code:

printf("Hello world!\n");

under your licence, I could possibly argue that

printf("Hello cruel world!\n");

is using your code, not modifying your code, because I used 'prinf("Hello '
and 'world!\n");' and also used my own code.

So, where is the line drawn?  For libraries it isn't so difficult - the line
between your code and my code is the API.  If I modify any of the files in
the library, it's reasonable to assume that I've modified the code.  But
what if I add another function, in a separate source file?  I've not
modified your code, I've added my own, and that doesn't violate your
licence.  What about, similarly, if I take one file (or part thereof) and
use it in my own program?  Does that mean that I've modified your code, or
merely used it in my own product?

Don't get me wrong, I know the LGPL isn't perfect for what you want, but
be very careful to define everything very precisely.  That's why the GPL and
LGPL are so large - they need to cover every possibility so the lawyers
can't drive trucks through the holes.

#include <disclaimer.h>
Matthew Palmer