[cairo] Re: License for cairo changed to LGPL

Turner, David DTurner at nds.com
Wed Aug 4 01:29:22 PDT 2004


> 	3) I'm not convinced it's actually necessary or beneficial. It
> 	   seems to me that the LGPL already makes sufficient provision
> 	   for static linking. It simply requires the distributor to
> 	   provide (or make a written offer to provide) object code so
> 	   that the user can relink with a modified version of the
> 	   library, (see 6.a).
Sometimes redistributing object code is not legally possible. For example,
my company distributes software that:

 - statically links to hardware-vendor specific HAL implementations
 - includes source code from Sun (used for PJava compliance) [1]

We have no authorization to distribute the corresponding object code,
and probably never will. We also use static linking exclusively.

> 	   Can someone show me an actual case where that burden is so
> 	   onerous as to outweigh any advantage that might come from
> 	   using cairo?
We simply can't use LGPL code in our software; independent of its
qualities, we will not be allowed to distribute it legally anyway.

But this is _our_ problem, not yours. You're free to decide what you
want to do with Cairo after all.

Note that the situation is probably different for embedded platforms
which provide dynamic linking, e.g. Symbian or Embedded Linux[2].
These are becoming more and more common.

Personally, I don't think you need a static linking exception for Cairo.

- David Turner
- The FreeType Project  (www.freetype.org)

[1] Those who believe that Sun makes no money from Java should _really_
    think harder :-) There are a lot of royalties coming from
    Java-certified hardware like mobile phones, set-top-boxes, etc...
    not speaking of various additionnal up-front fees

[2] We can't because we need to support more than 15 different platforms,
    some of them don't even have an operating system.

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