[erlang-questions] Erlang/OTP, eunit and the LGPL

Abhay Kumar abhay@REDACTED
Wed Dec 3 17:53:44 CET 2008

> We will try and most probably succeed to change the license for eunit
> to EPL, but I don't really understand
> how the LGPL on Eunit could be be a problem for using the rest of Erlang/OTP?

Our policy, as I understand it, is to err on the side of restriction
when dealing with GPL and LGPL licenses. Although it's perfectly
alright to use any binaries produced from this code for code that is
not released in the LGPL, it's painstakingly hard to get approval to
do so and it requires that no source files are available on both
developer machines and production environments.

Since the Erlang/OTP distribution is in source form (and not in binary
from) for certain development environments, this essentially blocks
folks from even downloading the src tarball and building it on their
system. Usually what happens in this case is that after all the legal
hoops are jumped, someone who is 'quarantined' from corporate code is
allowed to download and build the binaries, remove all the source
files and then provide that package to others to install on their
machines. These packages would be severely limiting since I can't even
count how many times I look into code:lib_dir() to solve my questions
as it is often provides a more comprehensive answer than documentation

The analogy in the LGPL is really very specific to C and linked-in
drivers and the lawyers seem to have the biggest problem with the
ambiguity of the language. I think this came up in the Java community
a little while ago.

Abhay Kumar

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