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Monday, September 22, 2003

Is the JXTA open-source license incompatible with the GPL?

I think that calling JXTA from GPLed programs
violates the GPL, due to the "Advertising Clause" in
the JXTA license. From the GPL FAQ:

Why is the original BSD license incompatible with the

Because it imposes a specific requirement that is
not in the GPL; namely, the requirement on
advertisements of the program. The GPL states:

You may not impose any further restrictions on the
recipients' exercise
of the rights granted herein.

The advertising clause provides just such a
further restriction, and thus is GPL-incompatible.

The revised BSD license does not have the
advertising clause, which eliminates the problem.

If this is true, it is easy to fix. We simply have to
do what the BSD license did, which is to remove the
advertising clause from the Jxta license that requires
you to put something similar to the following in your
software's README file or documentation:

This product includes software developed by Sun
Microsystems, Inc. for Project JXTA.

Until this is done, JXTA can't be used by GPLed (and
possibly LGPLed) software.

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