[jcifs] Supposed problem with the LGPL. Sigh.

eglass1 at comcast.net eglass1 at comcast.net
Tue Jul 29 07:09:11 EST 2003

> Users can import individual classes. The post they refer to is simply wrong.
> Typical ./ nonsense. If there is ever an issue with the LGPL I will change
> the license to BSD if I have to.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:	Christopher R. Hertel [SMTP:crh at ubiqx.mn.org]
> > Sent:	Tuesday, July 22, 2003 3:38 PM
> > To:	jcifs at samba.org
> > Subject:	[jcifs] Supposed problem with the LGPL.  Sigh.
> > 
> > I don't know if anyone saw this when it was fresh:
> > 
> >   
> http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/07/17/2257224&mode=thread&tid=1
> 08&tid=117&tid=126&tid=156&tid=99
> > 
> > I am not sure what it means to us, but I haven't read it in-depth.  Our
> > choice of the LGPL was made specifically to ensure that jCIFS could be
> > used (license-wise) with all existing Java JVMs and JDKs.  jCIFS was
> > intended as a toolkit so the creation of closed-source, proprietary
> > applications built on top of jCIFS was not considered a problem.
> > 
> > I believe that it is still our intent to permit the use of jCIFS as a
> > component for use with software under other licenses, as long as changes
> > to the jCIFS code itself are made available under the terms of the LGPL.
> > 
> > Any comments?  I'll try to spend some time following this up.

Here's my understanding of this, and the logic I applied when looking at
distributing Davenport (I don't know if this is still an open question or
not -- I've been in the Canadian wilderness for the past week).  Assuming a
program uses an unmodified jCIFS, all obligations under the LGPL are covered
in section 6:

    You must give prominent notice with each copy of the work that the Library
    is used in it and that the Library and its use are covered by this License.
    You must supply a copy of this License. If the work during execution
    displays copyright notices, you must include the copyright notice for the
    Library among them, as well as a reference directing the user to the copy
    of this License.  Also, you must do one of these things:

This is followed by a list of distribution options for the library;
paraphrasing, the application vendor has to do (at least) one of these:

    a) Distribute jCIFS with the application, including the jCIFS source.
       Additionally, the application must be able to be relinked with a
       modified version of jCIFS (i.e., the jCIFS jar can be swapped out
       with a modified version).

    b) Link to jCIFS in a manner which uses a copy of jCIFS already on the
       user's system and is capable of working with a modified version of
       jCIFS.  Using "import" statements in the application would be included
       in this.

    c) Give the user a written offer valid for three years to provide
       jCIFS (including source), for which a minimal distribution charge may
       be applied.

    d) If the application is distributed by download, allow equivalent access
       to download jCIFS (including source) from the same place.

    e) Verify that the user has already received jCIFS with source.

For Davenport, I distribute the jCIFS binary jar with the application; I also
provide the full source distribution for download alongside the Davenport

Basically (as I understand it), you can either distribute your application
without jCIFS (allowing the user to obtain it on their own), or distribute it
with the source (including any modifications you may have made).  Your
application can use any license, proprietary or otherwise.


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