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Re: Apache License & LGPL Compatible

On Thu, 2002-11-28 at 10:36, TJ Mather wrote:
> Hi,
> Under what conditions are the Apache License & LGPL licenses compatible?
> I'm working on developing an Excel export filter for KSpread, a
> spreadsheet program that is part of KDE's KOffice.  We want to use the
> Apache POI library, and we would like to get clarification on whether the
> licenses are compatible.  Here is a list of the components and their
> licenses:
> * QT (dual GPL/QPL would pick QPL in this case since GPL is not compatible 
> with Apache License)
> * KDE/KSpread (LGPL)
> * Apache POI library (Apache Software License)
> The Apache POI library would essentially work as a plugin filter to the
> KSpread library.  That is KSpread would have a libkspreadexport LGPL
> library that would have callbacks that a plugin would supply.  In no way
> would the LGPL KSpread export library depend on the POI filter, that is
> any number of filters could be chosen to export a KSpread file.
> Would it be OK to write a dynamically loadable module that is based on the
> Apache Licensed POI that can be used as a plugin for the LGPL
> KSpread export filter library?
> Thanks,
> TJ

If I understand your project correctly, I do not see that you need a
license that is compatible with Apache's "Artistic License" unless you
intend to contribute your filter and plugin(s) to the Apache Foundation
to be included and distributed with Apache.  If all you are doing is
linking to their code by means of their published APIs you can apply any
license you wish, even a closed-source, proprietary EULA, to your own

If you want to contribute the Apache Module to that project, then it
must be licensed on terms compatible with the Apache license.  If you
wish to contribute your KWord plugin to the KOffice project, then it is
my understanding that it must be licensed on terms compatible with both
the QPL and the GPL.  If you distribute it independently of either
project and only link to their published, and publically callable,
interfaces at runtime you don't have to be compatible with any of their

If you are really paranoid about getting the licensing "right" with
respect to the thread you linked to in the KOffice-devel mailing list
then I would probably recommend that you license your Apache module
under the BSD license and your KWrite plugin under the whatever license
the KOffice group wants you to use.  Since we are talking about a
library, probably the LGPL.

There is no problem that cannot be resolved by the appropriate
application of high explosives.

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