[webkit-dev] licensing questions

Mark Rowe mrowe at apple.com
Fri Dec 28 03:10:02 PST 2007

On 28/12/2007, at 20:26, Jakob Praher wrote:

> i am very excited about the webkit project. i think some of its core  
> libraries are quite interesting outside of webkit/webcore.  
> especially the text and encoding part is interesting to me.
> but i have to say that i am a little bit confused by the different  
> licenses:
> for instance:
> WebCore/platform/text/StringHash.h is under GPL2+ whereas /WebCore/ 
> platform/text/TextCodecICU.h has a BSDish license.

StringHash.h is under the LGPL, not the GPL.  Other parts are under  
either the LGPL or a BSD-style license.

> Is this mix of licenses needed?

Changing the licensing of existing code is not a simple process, so  
even if it is not strictly necessary to use different licenses, it is  
where we are today.

> Is it possible to link a non-free-software application against e.g.  
> WebCore without getting into troubles?

Yes, WebCore is used heavily by applications on Mac OS X, many of  
which are not free software.  Both the LGPL and BSD licenses permit  
this, though they have slightly different requirements if you have  
made modifications to WebCore.  You should re-read the licenses and  
consult a lawyer if you are unsure of the specifics.

Kind regards,

Mark Rowe

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