6 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2009 11:26 AM by Peter Johnson

    Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss

    John Turnbull Newbie

      We are looking for an enterprise class application server and platform which we can customise and then sell as our own product with extensions. Is this possible with JBoss? Are there any licensing restrictions which would prevent this from being permitted?

      Thanks,

      Jarrick Chagma

        • 1. Re: Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss
          Peter Johnson Master

          I could offer you my opinion, but would you really want to bet your company on it? Have you read the LGPL license? Have you had your lawyer read the license and explain it to you?

          • 2. Re: Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss
            John Turnbull Newbie

            Hi Peter,

            Well I probably wouldn't bet my company on it but I would appreciate your opinion.

            Thanks,

            Jarrick

            • 3. Re: Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss
              Peter Johnson Master

              If my boss asked me this question I would give him my opinion. However, if I give him a faulty opinion I know I won't be sued. If I give you my opinion and you end up in court because of it, what protection do I have? Sorry, but your best bet is to have your lawyer give his (or her) opinion.

              • 4. Re: Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss
                John Turnbull Newbie

                That's fair enough Peter but I don't think it's that serious or grave. You are free to express an opinion and, by all means, qualify it with the appropriate remarks. Of course I will have to check things with a lawyer but at this stage I am just trying to see if there's any point in outlaying money to do that. If it's simply a case that the LGPL license doesn't permit on-selling of JBoss then that's fine - I can accept that.

                Perhaps you could indicate to me whether it's worth my while in consulting a lawyer to test this. There will be no court case - I am stating it here - and if there ever was you could just quote this permanent record that I am absolving you of all responsibility in this matter. As I said, it's not that serious - I just want to know whether there is a possibility that on-selling is permitted.

                Thanks,

                Jarrick

                • 5. Re: Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss
                  Ondrej Medek Apprentice

                  I am not a lawyer, but there is a way how to sell your product based on JBoss or any other GPL or LGPL libraries. Otherwise how other companies, like RedHat, would make their money?

                  I think you have to manage to have your extensions in separate JARs (EARs, WARs, whatever), then just sell your extensions, while you keep the rest of the JBoss free (and tell your customers about).

                  • 6. Re: Licensing concerns with on-selling JBoss
                    Peter Johnson Master

                    If I understand correctly, you want to market an application server and change money for it, similar to the relationship between PostgreSQL and Enterprise DB. I think that section 2 of the LGPL is apropos:

                    Section 2

                    You may modify your copy or copies of the Library or any portion of it, thus forming a work based on the Library, and copy and distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

                    ...

                    c. You must cause the whole of the work to be licensed at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.


                    Compare that to the situation where you develop an app that runs on JBoss AS and you package JBoss AS as part of your app. Then section 5 is of importance:

                    Section 5

                    A program that contains no derivative of any portion of the Library, but is designed to work with the Library by being compiled or linked with it, is called a "work that uses the Library". Such a work, in isolation, is not a derivative work of the Library, and therefore falls outside the scope of this License