[jboss-user] [JBoss Tools] - Re: JBoss Tools license question

Max Andersen do-not-reply at jboss.com
Mon Oct 25 09:10:45 EDT 2010

Max Andersen [http://community.jboss.org/people/max.andersen%40jboss.com] created the discussion

"Re: JBoss Tools license question"

To view the discussion, visit: http://community.jboss.org/message/568204#568204

Hi Igor,

First thing to realize is that JBoss Tools is not *one* plugin but an umbrella project for a series of plugins - some which comes from different backgrounds and as a consequence different licenses, but none of them are GPL.

btw. just to be clear, i.e. this is my *personal* opinion/stance on the matter based on how we  did the opensourcing of Exadel original plugins and if you are looking  for a Red Hat binding comment you will need to talk with our legal  department not me  ;) 

As to your internet references:

1) Wikipedia: Never trust wikipedia - check the source!
I've fixed the wikipedia so it no longer wrongly says GPL since it's never been GPL.

2) Eclipse Marketplace: Other open source is the only option I saw since just saying EPL would be wrong. (see above)

3) Yup, feature.xml/featutre.properties is where you get the proper license info from.

4) license.html - yes, all that is true (license to use != copyright).

5) If you see plugins with missing/inadequete license info please report that as a bug in our jira. Manifest aren't the right place to look, about.html and license are.

I don't understand why you think richfaces are misleading about its license ? It says it's EPL, but it also references things that are not EPL (i.e. Mozilla Public License) thus the license.html is also true.

About GPL, there are *no* mention of GPL anywhere beyond Wikipedia which got that wrong, only LGPL is used and LGPL != GPL.

And with respect to GPL and EPL then that is best referenced as "it's complicated" but let me try and explain my stand

First of, let me be clear: We (JBoss Tools) do not distribute any plugins under GPL, we use primarily EPL but some parts are LGPL, ASL and MPL. No GPL in JBoss Tools.

That being said:
The GPL license triggers on distribution (at least for GPLv2), meaning it is ok for plugin providers to provide GPL plugins as long as it is not distributed together with EPL bits. Note: We (as in JBoss Tools) does not do this; and do not recommend anyone to do this because it becomes really messy very fast.
i.e. users using a GPL licensed plugin can not use it for anything but on the machine they are using it - they cannot copy it nor distribute it to anyone without breaking the GPL license in some form.

Eclipse and FSF's blogs all talk about linking and that we completely agree on - GPL is not useful in context of Eclipse plugins because the plugins runs in the same memory uses the same datastructure and thus cannot be clearly separated in the terms stated in GPL.

And that is why we cannot nor do we distribute JBoss Tools plugins under GPL.

JBoss Developer Studio is though a different thing, JBDS is under GPL, but that is the actual distro, not the actual plugins.
Similar to Red Hat Linux or Fedora are under GPL but they actually distribute a copy of Eclipse which is under EPL.

So it's complicated - but for the simple case of plugins being available under GPL - that is not something we do nor recommend.

Long mail - but I hope it outlined it  ;)

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