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No, that is not right. Eben, who as I mentioned often represents FSF in
some sense and as a technical law professor should know, didn't draw
that distinction. I would argue that it is an artificial semantic
LGPL allows you to use a library in a program (or another library) that
has any license, but not distributing a modified library without source
code. Using a library means any use, while modifying it means actually
changing the source code that went into the library.
Subclassing is not different semantically from creating a new class with
an instance of the LGPL'd class, creating a corresponding public method
for every public method in the original class, and calling, with or
without additional semantics, the corresponding LGPL'd method. Both
simply use the LGPL'd class without modifying its source code.
The intent of LGPL is to allow use of any kind in any kind of program
while maintaining the integrity of the LGPL'd library. If you include
the library and decide to call one of your own methods instead of one in
the library, you haven't distributed a modified version of the library.
You could in fact distribute a binary-only commercial library or
application that uses the unmodified LGPL'd library.
John Cowan wrote:
>Stephen D. Williams scripsit:
>>The language or programming paradigm in use doesn't determine the rules
>>of compliance, nor does whether the GPL'd code has been modified. The
>>situation is no different than the one where your code depends on static
>>or dynamic linking of a GPL'd library, say GNU readline. Your code, in
>>order to operate, must be combined with the GPL'd code, forming a new
>>combined work, which under GPL section 2(b) must be distributed under
>>the terms of the GPL and only the GPL. If the author of the other code
>>had chosen to release his JAR under the Lesser GPL, your contribution to
>>the combined work could be released under any license of your choosing,
>But that leaves open the question of subclassing. If some application
>classes are subclasses of classes in the LGPL library, does that make
>the total application a "work based on the library"? The FSF seems
>to think so (as does the Apache Software Foundation), because a Java
>program is essentially one big library.
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Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw