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Re: [Devel] initial release of FTLayout/GXLayout

From: Owen Taylor
Subject: Re: [Devel] initial release of FTLayout/GXLayout
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 18:10:25 -0500

On Fri, 2004-02-27 at 16:28, David Turner wrote:

> Note also that when it comes to the LGPL, things are a lot more blurry. I've
> done a bit of research, and here's my opinion (grain of salt):
> - Besides the fact that it is highly ambiguous, The LGPL has strong 
> similarities
>    with the GPL. For example, clauses 1 to 5 taken in isolation mandate that 
> any
>    program that uses a LGPL library must be distributed in whole under the 
>    itself. Only clause 6 provides exceptions that make other forms of 
> distribution
>    possible for such program (i.e. basically by using dynamic linking or 
> allowing
>    to relink it with a different version of the library)
> - there is no equivalent to GPL clause 6 !! however there is LGPL clause 7
>    which allows redistribution of a LGPL library that includes code covered by
>    other licenses, as long as complying with all licenses is possible.
> What this seems to mean is that a library like Pango, which includes code 
> from FT1,
> can only really be released under a combined LGPL+FTL license, i.e. any of 
> its binaries
> must be accompanied by the standard disclaimer, along with the COPYING.LIB 
> document.
> Owen, am I right or what ?

I guess I'll treat this in a couple of parts:

 * I'm quite confident that the fact that Pango contains code under the
   FTL puts no extra obligation on *users* of the library.

   Non-GPL users of Pango (which links to FreeType) already have
   the responsibility of someone dynamically linked to FTL-licensed
   code, because Pango pulls in FreeType already.

   GPL users of Pango can use both Pango and the FreeType code under 
   the GPL. (Note that the version of the OpenType code in Pango
   actually doesn't have the updated FTL with the GPL dual license,
   though it was added to the code subsequently. It would definitely
   be a good idea for me fix this ;-()

 * To my understanding, the requirement of the FTL do apply to binary 
   distributions of Pango. The Red Hat package is at best
   marginally compliant with this, so it definitely would be 
   a good idea for me to fix this. ;-(

 * There is a great deal of uncertainty in how to interpret the terms
   of the LGPL in terms of distribution of combined works.
   I'll state here as the author and, as a representative of Red Hat,
   copyright holder of the overwhelming majority of the LGPL code
   in Pango, that I don't believe that the inclusion of dual 
   FTL/GPL licensed code in Pango in any way restricts the
   redistribution of sources or binaries of the LGPL portions of

I guess the short answer is, unless you are distributing Pango under 
the terms of the GPL, not the LGPL, I'd agree that the terms of the FTL
do apply to distributions of Pango.

In the middle-term, I'd certainly be happy if we can accomplish our
project of moving the OpenType table parsing portions of Pango back
under the FreeType umbrella, which would simplify things here.


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