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License question #32
I'm glad to see that there is interest in the library! I hope you find it to be useful.
I, along with the contributions of one of my co-workers (@OEP), developed python-anyvcs as a component of a larger project for work. We wanted to share our efforts with the open source community while ensuring that derivative works will also be shared with the community.
The Apache, MIT, and BSD licenses all require that software using this library (or something derived from it) be attributed back to our company, as does LGPLv3. But unlike LGPLv3, they do not require that improvements to the library which get distributed are made available to us. This fact that improvements to our code are available back to us came into play when talking with our company's intellectual property team about releasing this library under an open source license.
My understanding of the LGPLv3 is that the software library can be used by any other software, regardless of license, as long as the source code, copyright and license of this library is made known and available, and that any modifications that are made to this library and distributed must be released under the LGPLv3. This does not prevent anyone from using this library in any software, commercial or not. However, I have seen that "some companies" (I've never seen which companies) would rather pay for proprietary software than use (L)GPL'ed code, but in my opinion that's their loss.
If a sufficient argument can be made for a more permissive license, we will take it under consideration. Alternatively, we may consider a dual licensing scheme.
Who ever shunned a software project because the license was too permissive? Too free and easy to read? The license is too pure and simple.
Who ever shunned contributing or using a software project because the license was too restrictive? I could think of a few: twbs/bootstrap#2054.
I do not know the particulars about linking LGPL libraries. I'm assuming I could link python-anyvcs and subclass it in my own software and not trigger a reaction to make me release my software as LGPL/GPL also.
I used to use GPL/LGPL and paste it everywhere thinking I was guaranteeing upstream patches that would ensure the livelihood of my project, and it was being used for good. In practice, even today, I don't want to worry over the warts and triggering GPL problems.
My main reasoning for GPL/LGPL back in the day - on its face, is your current reasoning. LGPL/GPL theoretically guarantees upstream diffs to the main project.
Since it's been a while I figured I'd try and update:
If I had to guess, they'll probably be receptive to the license change, but will probably just want to understand the differences. It's probably an easy point to argue since the license is out of Berkeley and that university has released larger works under the license.