[Haskell-cafe] Re: Hmm, what license to use?

Jeremy O'Donoghue jeremy.odonoghue at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 06:12:46 EDT 2008

On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 21:54:34 -0400, "Stefan Monnier"
<monnier at iro.umontreal.ca> said:
> > I am not allowed to use such an interpretation. The (expensive and very
> > carefully researched) legal advice used to shape the use of Open Source
> > code at my employer has resulted in a "no LGPL under any circumstances
> > whatsoever" policy.
> [...]
> > That still leaves anyone free to use LGPL if they want to, but please
> > don't assume that it allows commercial use by all potential users.
> It *does* allow commercial use.  Your example just shows that some
> people may decide not to take advantage of it, based not on problematic
> restrictions but just on paranoia.

The LGPL does not state that a "work that uses the library" may be
in conjunction with a closed source commercial program, although I grant
many (presumably including some who have actually consulted lawyers)
that such an interpretation is reasonable.

However, the policy in place in my workplace was designed by lawyers
with contract law in multiple jurisdictions worldwide. I may not
agree with their conclusions in every respect, but I'd be hard pressed
consider them "paranoid" - they are simply doing their job, and have
that the potential risk of a court somewhere in the World taking an
view of the provisions of clause 5 is unacceptable.

I guess what I really mean is that if you choose LGPL as a license, some
who would like to use it in commercial products will do so, but others
(who would
have chosen to use the work if differently licensed) will not. Not a
question of
paranoia so much as corporate appetite for license risk.

  Jeremy O'Donoghue
  jeremy.odonoghue at gmail.com

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