[OSGeo-Discuss] The importance of a project's license

Andrew Ross andrew.ross at eclipse.org
Fri Jul 27 06:08:13 PDT 2012

On 07/27/2012 12:55 AM, Alex Mandel wrote:
> "3.You can also re-license the finished product under a commercial
> license of your choice" this seems to be the biggest difference with
> LGPL. But there's also another big difference, and EPL program is
> incompatible with all other OS licenses
> http://www.eclipse.org/legal/eplfaq.php#USEINANOTHER
> So it's more restrictive than BSD, MIT, Apache, etc...

[snipped to break out this particular thought]

This is best illustrated with a use case. GeoServer uses EPL code hosted 
at Eclipse today. GeoServer is licensed under the GPL. GPL is 
incompatible with the EPL since both clauses cannot be true at the same 
time. This was addressed by GeoServer issuing a GPL exception for the 
EPL software it consumed. So the choice whether GeoServer wanted to 
consume EPL code was theirs.

You're right though... BSD, MIT, Apache wouldn't have this issue - at 
the expense of not having the weak copyleft. Basically people can take 
the code and do what they wish with it.

A project can decide what makes the most sense for them. I'm guessing 
that projects that chose LGPL (or GPL for that matter) did so in part 
because of the copyleft.


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