[Libwebsockets] If is it possible to change the licence from LGPL to BSD or MIT?

"Andy Green (林安廸)" andy at warmcat.com
Wed Feb 6 15:44:01 CET 2013


On 06/02/13 21:56, the mail apparently from Peter Young(杨世玲) included:
> Hello Andy,
>
>          sorry for didn't explain the issue clearly.
>
>          In iOS, only statically linked is allowed.
>          so, if someone want use libwebsockets in iOS game, means the game will be LGPL too, and the source should be public. obviously, in most case this is not an option.
>
>          In  this case, can you re-consider this issue?
>
>          libwebsockets is a great lib, thanks for your great effort.

Well, that's a different issue than needing to change the license to 
"BSD or MIT".

Actually this has come up before, someone else had a similar issue a 
couple of years ago and I found there's a "static linking exception" 
possible as a bolt-on for LGPL.  I wrote them that they could consider 
it under that exception IIRC.  I don't think we will lose much by 
generally adding the exception, unless there are objections.

That leaves intact the LGPL requirement to give sources / modifications 
for the library part of the binary you're distributing, which I think is 
very important to keep the project healthy.

But it directly solves the static link issue.

I'll research the options for wording and such tomorrow and look at 
adding an explicit LICENSE file to make whatever we do clear, 
constructive comments welcome.

-Andy

> ------------------ Original ------------------
> From:  ""Andy Green (林安廸)""<andy at warmcat.com>;
> Date:  Wed, Feb 6, 2013 04:51 PM
> To:  "Gregory Junker"<ggjunker at gmail.com>;
> Cc:  "Peter Young(杨世玲)"<young40 at qq.com>; "libwebsockets"<libwebsockets at ml.libwebsockets.org>;
> Subject:  Re: [Libwebsockets] If is it possible to change the licence from LGPL to BSD or MIT?
>
> Hi -
>
> Is that a problem with lgpl though or a problem with closed commercial game distribution?
>
> MIT is certainly liberal but the result that people use the library without cooperation or giving back is non-liberal. From my pov lgpl is rational because in exchange for giving people the work, contribution back is encouraged that I also can benefit from. Merely hearing that xyz is using this work, charging for it, has added features they are not sharing, is not a satisfying result from my pov considering it is largely my work. I think that should be a reasonable pov.
>
> If people can find a way to do shared object linking there's no problem, that sounds pretty fair to me. I am certainly not interested in trying to force liberaliztion of their stuff unrelated to lws. Of course if there is a situation that's unfair we can chew it over. But that's my basic position, giving back is a legitimate demand in exchange for free access to the work.
>
> -Andy
>
> Gregory Junker <ggjunker at gmail.com> wrote:
> The problem with LGPL usually comes up with commercial game distribution, often on consoles but more often now on handheld devices. It might be possible to distribute a game with shared objects, but usually games prefer to be statically-linked to limit hacking opportunities. Ogre3D, as an example, used to be LGPL until users expressed interest in using it in console games and other statically-linked applications, and the project founder changed it a couple of releases ago to MIT.
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 11:30 PM, "Andy Green (林安廸)" <andy at warmcat.com> wrote:
> On 06/02/13 01:30, the mail apparently from Peter Young(杨世玲) included:
>
> Hello Andy,
>
>          I'm working on integrate libwebsockets to cocos2d-x.
>
>          Cocos2d-x is a cross-platform game engine, can write game for ios, android, blackberry, etc.   The are many popular games based on cocos2d-x. official site: http://cocos2d-x.org
>
>          cocos2d-x is under MIT license. so, there will be a license issue if a game using libwebsockets and the  developer wants to keep there codes close source.
>
>          If is it possible to change the licence from LGPL to BSD or MIT?
>
> I think LGPL is pretty liberal, and the git history shows a good level of contribution coming back.
>
> Originally and without much thought, libwebsockets was actually GPL2, simply because I do Linux kernel work and that was my default.
>
> However it was pointed out that's not really a fair choice for libraries, and it's true I don't want to force people to license the rest of their stuff liberally if they don't want to.  So I changed it a long while back to LGPL.
>
> Can you explain what the license problem is with cocos2d-x?  Presumably if it's dynamically linked, there should be no problem including LGPL sources in a project that is otherwise MIT.  If it's statically linked, that can be a problem.
>
> If you consider a distro like Fedora or whatever, it's made up of all kinds of licensed sources you can freely download the same although redistribution rules differ part by part.  In itself, so long as it's clearly stated, it doesn't make trouble AFAIK.
>
> -Andy
>
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