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[DotGNU]licensing of fox toolkit

From: David Sugar
Subject: [DotGNU]licensing of fox toolkit
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 07:04:03 -0500
User-agent: KMail/1.4.3

I have read through your licensing page on fox, with your recent changes as of 
August of last year, and I have found these changes contradictory and 
confusing.  You start from a basic LGPL license, and then state the following 
on your site:

FOX basically follows the standard GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). 
Because of repeated questions on this topic, it has become apparent that many 
people still had a number of uncertainties about licensing issues.

Also, a number of stipulations in the GNU Lesser Public License statement have 
evidently been an impediment to truely wide-spread adoption of the FOX 

Thus, the intent of the License Addendum has been to provide clarification of 
a number of obscure issues in the GNU Lesser General Public License, and to 
relax a few of its stipulations with an eye to solving a couple of practical 

Below follows the GNU Lesser Public License, followed by the FOX Library 
License addendum.

                           ADDENDUM TO LICENSE
                              August 2002

                Copyright (C) 2002 Jeroen van der Zijp.

        Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
     of this license addendum document, but changing it is not allowed.

FOX Toolkit Library License Agreement.

0. The FOX Toolkit Library ("The Library") is licensed under GNU Lesser
General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation,
version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version,
with the following additional conditions.  The following conditions
take precedence over any conditions or restrictions stipulated by the
Lesser General Public License insofar as a conflict exists.

1. The FOX Toolkit Library License Agreement ("License") covers only
the FOX Toolkit Library ("The Library").  Other libraries which the
Library may use are covered by their own respective licenses.

2. Modification of the configure scripts, makefiles, or installation
tools of the Library to support a specific platform does not constitute
creating a modified or derivative work based on the Library.

3. Subclassing from Objects or Widgets supplied by the Library involves
no modifications to the source code of the Library itself, and consequently,
subclassing from Objects and Widgets does not constitute creating a modified
or derivative work based on the Library.

4. Statically linking of a copy of the Library against any work using the
Library, i.e. the inclusion of (parts of) the Library into a program or
binary, is functionally equivalent to a work using the Library by linking
to it dynamically, and therefore does not constitute creating a modified
or derivative work based on the Library.

5. Otherwise, if the work is a derivative of the Library, you may
distribute the object code for the work under the terms of the GNU Lesser
General Public License.  Any executables containing that work also may
be distributed under the Lesser General Public License whether or not they
are linked directly with the Library itself.

6. Programs or binaries linked with the Library must be identified as such
by including, in the Documentation or by other means (for example in the
About Box or Online Help), the following statement:

"This software uses the FOX Toolkit Library ("

< END >

I do understand that to actually get an GNU LGPL "effect" in a C++ class 
frameworks it may be nessisary to have some kind of addendum stating what is 
not construed as a derived work by the author, since one has to deal with 
templates, inline headers, and inheritence, all of which may be construed 
under copyright and our current legal understanding as it may apply to 
software as a "derivitive" work in ways that linking of pure C libraries are 
not, and this may also relate to specific issues of copyright law in your own 

When it is nessisary to add extra privileges to clearify issues like this, in 
my own opinion, one way to do that is to have a revertable license; that is 
you can either accept the license with some specific priviledges added, or 
accept and use it under the terms of the GNU GPL (or lgpl) unmodified.

However, it seems some of the changes you have in your addendum create new 
requirements, such as the advertising clause, which conflict and make your 
library unusable with other GNU GPL license software, or otherwise create 
different terms from those of the GNU L-GPL.  If this is your intent, I would 
suggest perhaps what you really should do is a dual disjunctive license.  A 
disjunctive license means the software can be provided on one of two (or 
more) different licenses, and the end user receiving the software can choose 
which one applies. Some software is under a dual-disjunctive license with the 
GNU GPL being one of the options, and a BSD-like license being the other.  
Perl is similarly licensed under a dual-disjunctive license between the GNU 
GPL and the "Artistic" license.

The license you have currently, with the addendum, is contradictory, and I 
believe as written, may be unusable with other GNU GPL licensed software.  
Since your goal was to make your library more easily and widely usable, it 
seems this has accomplished the exact opposite.


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