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Re: java-gnome vs. SWT


On Sat, 2004-09-18 at 17:29, Jan Schulz wrote:
> * Mark Wielaard wrote:
> >Since SWT is distributed under the CPL, Common Public License, which is
> >not GPL compatible, you won't be able to distribute a larger work based
> >on it under the GPL. 
> What is with GPL+linking exception?

You can add an explicit linking exception to a work to say that it can
be distributed under the GPL as a whole with an explicit exception for
part of the work (SWT in this case).

The GPL FAQ has an entry about this:
"What legal issues come up if I use GPL-incompatible libraries with GPL
software?" http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs

And this is a practical example how MySQL handles such cases:

Note that in general you cannot just add such an exception to the GPL
without all copyright holders of the original work giving permission for

> Azaurus (sp?) is also GPL and
> absed on swt and tehre is already a ITP for it.

Better run that by debian-legal then.
It might be said that there is an implicit linking exception for SWT
since it is designed to be integrated with it. But last time this came
up on debian-legal when Qt was still under the QPL, which is also
GPL-incompatible, debian-legal didn't like such an implicit permission
(Qt is distributed under the GPL these days, so this isn't an issue any

It is much better to have an explicit statement about the intention to
create a larger work based on GPL and non-GPL-compatible code.

Or we can try again to convince the Eclipse community to distribute SWT
under a GPL compatible license (or dual license SWT under the CPL and
GPL or LGPL for example).



BTW. For full disclosure I should add that I created a GPLed bittorrent
framework which has a java-gnome client frontend.
The Hunting of the Snark Project - BitTorrent Application Suite

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