[opencms-dev] Important: OpenCms changes to LGPL
Alexander.Kandzior at framfab.de
Tue Jul 31 12:29:35 CEST 2001
some important news concerning the upcoming release of OpenCms 4.4. We (the
OpenCms Group) plan to re-issue the source code using the LGPL intead of the
GPL. The main reason is that we always wanted it to be possible to develop
OpenCms modules that are using another form of license.
>From the current FAQ:
Does using the GPL mean that all additions to OpenCms must be Open Source as
OpenCms has a build in module API (which is in fact a Java interface). The
way we see it, all modules that simple use that API, and are not distributed
together with OpenCms, are not a software based on OpenCms and therefore are
not bound by the GPL license. If additions or changes to the core system are
made, or modules are distributed together with OpenCms, these are covered by
the GPL and thus must be published under the GPL. So companies can develop
their additions to OpenCms as a module, distribute it separately, and choose
any license they like. However, the OpenCms core system and all enhancements
or additions to it will stay Open Source, as will be all modules that are
distributed together with it.
Some comments on that point of view (the most important coming from Richard
Stallman, founder of the FSF) have pointed out that his is not possible with
the GPL. All Modules must be GPL, too. Therfore, from release 4.4. onwards,
we will to re-issue the source code of the OpenCms core as LGPL. The LGPL
allows the coexistance of the "library" (in our case the OpenCms core
system) with components using another form of license. That's the only way
we think we can meet our original intention.
Re-issuing will not take the existing GPL code away (that's not possible
because of the GPL). That means the currently relased sources will be always
available as GPL. However, there will be a another version of the sources
that will be LGPL.
Re-issuing of course is tricky since it requires all authors that have
contributed to the current source tree to allow us to re-issue their work as
LGPL. I am in direct contact with the major sponsors of OpenCms and they
seem to be willing to give their permission. If anyone of you has
contributed source code, please let me know until the end of the week if it
is ok to re-issue it using the LGPL or not.
Of course, I am also interested in your opinions regarding the shift to LGPL
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