New license wording

Etienne M. Gagnon
Tue Jan 22 17:49:00 GMT 2002

On Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 01:38:57PM +1300, Bryce McKinlay wrote:
> Thanks Mark. Though I'm happy that the license has been improved (and 
> happy that Etienne is now hopefully happy!)

Yes, he is.  In fact, in exchange for this clarification, I will let
go of another claim, and simply assign my copyright to the FSF for any
improvement I will sign the copyright assignment paperwork.

> after re-reading it there 
> is one thing I am a little concerned about:
> >"As a special exception, the copyright holders of this library give you
> >permission to link this library with independent modules to produce an
> >executable."
> >
> >"An independent module is a module which is not derived from
> >or based on this library."
> >
> Couldn't any gcj application be thought of as being "based on" the 
> libgcj library? How do we know precisely what the difference between 
> being "based on" and simply "using" the library is?

I'll try to answer this one.  "Based on" means that you included some
of Classpath's source code ("as is" or modified ) in your application.
The simple act of linking with a library is considered "using" the
library.  Linking, here can be interpreted as "binary linking"
(runtime) or even some form of compile-time linking like using
Classpath as the class library for compiling your application to
bytecode using Jikes.

The terms used in the Classpath exception take their source in the GNU
licenses "literature".  So, in the GNU LGPL preamble you can read:

[... Pay close attention to the difference between a "work based on
the library" and a "work that uses the library".  The former contains
code derived from the library, whereas the latter must be combined
with the library in order to run. ...]


Etienne M. Gagnon          

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