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Home » Eclipse Projects » Eclipse Platform » Legal question on EPL(problem with javax.servlet.jar\javax\servlet\resources\web-app_2_3.dtd)
Legal question on EPL [message #670068] Thu, 12 May 2011 10:58 Go to next message
Mohamed Hussein is currently offline Mohamed Hussein
Messages: 71
Registered: July 2009
Member
Hello,

First I am sorry if this is not the correct forum to ask those question.

The questions simply are:
1- Is the below problem correct? is there any reason for it?
2- If I modify the javax.servlet plugin to remove this file, can I repackage it and distribute normally, what are my obligations and rights under EPL?


While checking our eclipse based product before releasing Our legal dept complained about the web-app_2_3.dtd file in javax.servlet that its license is prohibitive, because it contains the following:

This product or document is protected by copyright and distributed
under licenses restricting its use, copying, distribution, and
decompilation.  No part of this product or documentation may be
reproduced in any form by any means without prior written authorization
of Sun and its licensors, if any.


Though before that it says:
 Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more
  contributor license agreements.  See the NOTICE file distributed with
  this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership.
  The ASF licenses this file to You under the Apache License, Version 2.0
  (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with
  the License.


Point# 20 in the EPL FAQ says:
If I modify a Program licensed under the EPL and distribute the object code of the modified Program for free, must I make the source code available?
Yes. By distributing the modified Program, even if it is only a free version of the object code, you are obligated to make the source code to the modified Program available to others.


If I modify a plugin, Does this mean that I need to distribute all my code or just this modified plugin?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Best Regards,
Mohamed.
Re: Legal question on EPL [message #670893 is a reply to message #670068] Mon, 16 May 2011 01:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
David Williams is currently offline David Williams
Messages: 176
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
On 05/12/2011 10:58 AM, Mohamed Hussein wrote:
> Hello,
>
> First I am sorry if this is not the correct forum to ask

Probably not the best forum, since none of us are lawyers ... but I can
point you in the right direction.
Sounds like you're found http://www.eclipse.org/legal (which has
pointers to the FAQ, etc.)
You'll note there a statement similar to "if question still not
answered, you can send an email to
license (at) eclipse.org" ... and the legal staff at Eclipse _might_ be
able to help more directly.

And maybe I can help you ask more pointed questions. First, while I
didn't look closely at that javax.servlet jar you mentioned, it is not
distributed under EPL. As usual, third party jars which Eclipse
re-distributes are still distributed under their original license Apache
License 2, from your note ... so their rules apply.

As for the problematic file ... web-app_2_3.dtd ... that might be a good
question for the legal staff. I know sometimes they do get "permission"
of some sort or ... it may be they decide that from context of where
ever they got the file from, they had another license, that might have a
different statement such as ... and I'm completely making this up for
illustration ... "no matter what the file says, the following rules
apply ... " ... totally guessing, just to give an example. But, seems if
it is an Apache2 license, then that's it ... nothing outside that
license would apply ... as far as me-not-a-lawyer knows.

Last thing to clarify, if you do want to distribute your own version of
that bundle, you should use care that is won't "conflict" with the ones
from Eclipse Orbit ... you know, have some appropriate version/qualifier
that'll make yours unique, but not conflicting (not easy to do, but not
too hard). In a similar way, you probably don't want to take the Eclipse
one, modify it, and redistribute ... after all, it is "signed" as coming
from Eclipse. You'd probably want to get your own, from the original
source, make your own bundle according to original license, and
redistribute that one.

Oh, no ... one more thing to clarify ... you ask "If I modify a plugin,
Does this mean that I need to
distribute all my code or just this modified plugin?" Again, I'm no
lawyer, so don't take my word for anything ... but not all your code,
just your modifications to Eclipse code (when it is licensed under EPL).

HTH
Re: Legal question on EPL [message #675109 is a reply to message #670893] Mon, 30 May 2011 06:35 Go to previous message
Mohamed Hussein is currently offline Mohamed Hussein
Messages: 71
Registered: July 2009
Member
Many thanks David,

None of us are lawyers, so I just "delegated" this issue to our lawyers, and they finally gave us permission to ship the library as is, but I don't know why they changed their mind, and I didn't ask Smile

Thanks again.


Best Regards,
Mohamed.
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