[logback-user] GPL+Classpath exception

Arthur Blake blakesys at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 12 03:48:11 CEST 2008


I hope I didn't offend with these questions about your licensing (the lack of any answer leaves me wondering...)

The example "logblaster" might be a worst case scenario of someone ripping off an open source project for commercial gain.
I certainly am not intending to make such a project -- more just probing as to what the intent of your license is and how far it could be stretched.

I'm also really curious to know why you chose to switch from apache (log4j) to LGPL (logback) -- for my own knowledge.  I have several open source projects, and it's always a headache trying to pick the right license whenever I start a new project.  I learned a lot about the ends and outs from reading a few books on open source projects (especially "Producing Open Source Software" by Karl Fogel), but it's still always seems like a chore and a hassle to pick the right license.

Any insight into your thought process on picking the license would be appreciated.  If these questions are not appropriate for the list I apologize and you can feel free to send me a private email.

----- Original Message ----
From: Arthur Blake <blakesys at yahoo.com>
To: logback users list <logback-user at qos.ch>
Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 3:04:01 PM
Subject: Re: [logback-user] GPL+Classpath exception

I guess what is more important to me is what you as the owner and author, are intending to allow and disallow with the license...

For example, I think it's clear that you want to allow anyone to use logback as a logging system in any kind of software... proprietary, open source and otherwise.

But what if someone created a completely new logging system and called it say "logblaster" that used logback as its core engine, but exposed some other API on top of it (this could be done completely without modifying logback-- just by including logback on the classpath) and packaged logblaster for sale as a proprietary product.  Is that permissible?  

A normal GPL license would not allow that...  it would require logblaster to be GPL too.
An Apache style license would allow it. 

I think that technically even the GPL+classpath would allow that... but is that something you would be against?

Do you want to allow extensions like that or not?

BTW: interesting article here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL_linking_exception

----- Original Message ----
From: Ceki Gulcu <listid at qos.ch>
To: logback users list <logback-user at qos.ch>
Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 2:09:16 PM
Subject: Re: [logback-user] GPL+Classpath exception

IANAL, but it seems to me that both LGPL and GPL+classpath do not
allow for direct extensions to be distributed under another
license. However, combined and independent work (as in work merely
using logback) is not affected by the provisions of the LGPL or

As I understand it, the objections against the LGPL are due to the
fuzzy nature of the extend to which the LGPL applies. I hate to admit
that even with the classpath exception the meaning of "independent" is
not 100% clear. IMHO, the LGPL does not fair any better.

Arthur Blake wrote:
> I absolutely agree that LGPL or GPL+classpath are valid and reasonable 
> licenses... it just makes it a little less business friendly.
> Does the GPL+classpath allow for writing extensions and plugins for 
> logback that I can license as a non-copyleft license (apache /BSD/X11 or 
> closed source)?
Ceki Gülcü
QOS.ch is looking to hire talented developers in Switzerland.  If
interested, please contact c e k i @ q o s . c h

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