[webkit-dev] Licenses for WebKit contributions

Mike Hommey mh+webkit at glandium.org
Thu Jan 8 12:31:19 PST 2009

On Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 12:31:09AM -0800, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Jan 7, 2009, at 2:13 PM, Sam Weinig wrote:
>> I just noticed several patches have put up for review that contain new 
>> files using the Apache license.  Current WebKit policy is that code 
>> should be licensed under either a BSD license or GNU Lesser General 
>> Public License v.2.1 (mentioned explicitly when submitting patches on 
>> bugs.webkit.org).  In order to change this policy, we would need to 
>> have a larger discussion as this is not a decision that can be made by 
>> any one person.  If you have submitted a patch recently that is under 
>> another license, please consider re-submitting it with either of the 
>> two allowed licenses as we cannot land them as they are.  I am sorry we 
>> did not notice this sooner.
> In addition, according to the FSF the Apache License 2.0 is not  
> compatible with the GPL 2.0, and therefore likely also not compatible  
> with the LGPL 2.1. It is possible the FSF is wrong in this opinion, but I 
> would say it is a pretty good reason for the WebKit project to avoid 
> Apache-licensed code.

Incompatibility with GPL has no implication with (in)compatibility with
the LGPL. You can even link proprietary code with LGPL without
compatibility issues (though there are some rules to respect).

In fact, the Apache License is compatible with the LGPL.

But multiplying the number of licenses is not a good idea IMHO.

I'll take advantage of this thread to reiterate my request: please don't
license new code under *either* BSD or LGPL (the actual policy is
*either* 2-clause BSD, or 3-clause BSD, or LGPL). Please license new code
under BSD *and* LGPL.


More information about the webkit-dev mailing list