[OpenLayers-Dev] XMLHttpRequest.js license

Paul Spencer pspencer at dmsolutions.ca
Wed Apr 21 09:16:37 EDT 2010

Note that since we have obtained his permission to distribute under a less restrictive license, this is not a problem.  However, for my own edification and for future consideration with this and other open source projects, I'd like to understand this a little more.

I just read through the LGPLv3 and GPL (ugh) in an attempt to understand why Roald might think that this license would somehow be bad for OpenLayers and also to understand what might happen if, in the future, we find some other component under LGPL that would be good to include.  While it is probable that you would need a legal interpretation, the section 4 Combined Works of the LGPL v3 is pretty clear that you can distributed a combined work under terms of your choice as long as the terms do not restrict modification of the Library (XMLHttpRequest.js in this case) and that you distribute the appropriate copyright and license information with the combined work.  There are 5 conditions in total and none of them seem to impact OpenLayers.

Any one have any insight into this?



On 2010-04-21, at 8:20 AM, bartvde at osgis.nl wrote:

> Hey Paul,
> this is Roald's original e-mail on the subject with a reference:
> http://openlayers.org/pipermail/dev/2009-April/004792.html
> Best regards,
> Bart
>> Bart,
>> based on my experience in other projects, it should be sufficient to
>> include this in a comment at the top of XMLHttpRequest.js with a brief
>> explanation of the issue and then we should be good to go.
>> For the record, I am wondering why it is a problem to include LGPL code in
>> OpenLayers if it is used as a Library (unmodified)?  Roald's remark just
>> seems to be that we *might* have a GPL infringement, that doesn't seem
>> terribly convincing to me that there is a problem that we should be
>> concerned about by including LGPL code.  Can anyone elaborate on whether
>> this is actually a problem, what the problem is, or if there is not, in
>> actual fact, a problem with including LGPL code.
>> Cheers
>> Paul
>> On 2010-04-21, at 5:11 AM, bartvde at osgis.nl wrote:
>>> Hi devs,
>>> since XMLHttpRequest.js had changed its license from Apache license to
>>> LGPL (see also http://trac.openlayers.org/ticket/2065), we have problems
>>> with rolling in new versions of the library (see also Roald's remark
>>> about
>>> GPL infringement in that particular ticket).
>>> Since the author is based in The Netherlands, I decided to contact him
>>> to
>>> ask if we would consider relicensing to the previous Apache license, and
>>> he agreed to this (see below).
>>> Does this mean we will be able to upgrade XMLHttpRequest in the future,
>>> or
>>> do we need more from him?
>>> Best regards,
>>> Bart
>>> ------------------------- Oorspronkelijk bericht
>>> -------------------------
>>> Onderwerp: Re: XMLHttpRequest.js license
>>> Van:       "Sergey Ilinsky" <sergey at ilinsky.com>
>>> Datum:     Wo, 21 april, 2010 10:45 am
>>> Aan:       bartvde at osgis.nl
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Bart,
>>> I authorize OpenLayers to get the latest version of XMLHttpRequest.js
>>> library and use it under Apache license (Just replace the license note
>>> in
>>> the file). Is the written confirmation sufficient?
>>> Yes, I am based in the Netherlands, living in Amsterdam. Have worked for
>>> Backbase for 3 years, now working at Nedstat. In my free time I am busy
>>> with
>>> Ample SDK <http://www.amplesdk.com/>, new JavaScript GUI Framework (also
>>> open source) which among other features such as support for XUL also
>>> bring
>>> SVG to all browsers and more.
>>> Do you arrange some meet-ups with people working on OpenLayers or other
>>> client-side developers in Amsterdam? I would be interested in
>>> getting acquainted with you and others.
>>> Sergey/
>>> On 21 April 2010 07:29, <bartvde at osgis.nl> wrote:
>>>> Hi Sergey,
>>>> the OpenLayers project (http://www.openlayers.org) uses your
>>>> XMLHttpRequest.js library, but now has trouble upgrading because of
>>>> your
>>>> license change from Apache license to LGPL.
>>>> Would you consider relicensing your library under Apache for the
>>>> OpenLayers project?
>>>> TIA.
>>>> Btw, I see you are also based in The Netherlands?
>>>> Best regards,
>>>> Bart
>>> <untitled-[2].html>_______________________________________________
>>> Dev mailing list
>>> Dev at openlayers.org
>>> http://openlayers.org/mailman/listinfo/dev
>> __________________________________________
>>   Paul Spencer
>>   Chief Technology Officer
>>   DM Solutions Group Inc
>>   http://research.dmsolutions.ca/


   Paul Spencer
   Chief Technology Officer
   DM Solutions Group Inc

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