[jcifs] Re: Fw: SQL Server 6.5 and named pipes

Michael B Allen mba2000 at ioplex.com
Sat Jul 17 02:19:34 GMT 2004

Eric Glass said:
> It was determined through correspondence between the Apache folks and
> the licensing guys at the FSF that Java import statement-style linking
> does fall under Section 6:
> http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.jakarta.poi.devel/5900
> This ultimately ended with Apache determining that LGPL code could not
> be used (their conclusion being that it would require their
> application to be LGPL licensed); I personally believe this to be an
> incorrect interpretation of Section 6

Sometimes you get people who like to just debate this stuff just to hear
themselves talk. Obviously you have to use import statements to use a
library and obviously you can use a Java library such that it is not a
derived work. JTDS is clearly not a derived work of jCIFS if it just uses
the public API. It's the spirit of the license that matters and the spirit
of the LGPL is that if you use the library as a library, meaning you use
the public API, then you are not obligated to do anything in return. If
you actually modify the source code files that make up the library then
the result would be a derived work.

The bottom line is that if it becomes established that simply using the
public API of an LGPL library requires the caller to be LGPL as well then
we will change the jCIFS license to MLGPL (Mikes Library General Public
License). But that's not going to happen because the license will be what
people who use it expect it to be and not what some idiots that like to
create controversy through debate think it should be.

> In any case, I believe jTDS is already licensed under the LGPL (at

That doesn't matter. jTDS or anyone else that uses the public API of jCIFS
does not have to be LGPL. If I hear about this again I will post a
statement on the website that reiterates our non-viral interpretation of
the LGPL so that it's clear to users of our library. And if any
contributor with a copyright statement in our source disagrees with that
interpretation their code will be removed.


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