[OWASP-LEADERS] RE: License question

Mark Curphey mark at curphey.com
Sun Nov 30 21:17:02 EST 2003

I think it seems sensible to use the LGPL for oPortal and the .NET stuff
Dinis is about to release. Does anyone have any objections ? If so please
speak up in the next 24 hours.

Does anyone know if you can reassign GPL to LGPL if we wanted to
(hypothetical question only ) 

-----Original Message-----
From: owasp-leaders-admin at lists.sourceforge.net
[mailto:owasp-leaders-admin at lists.sourceforge.net] On Behalf Of
dinis at ddplus.net
Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003 1:04 PM
To: owasp-leaders at lists.sourceforge.net

Hello fellow Owasp leaders

I am new to this list so this is my first post. I'm collaborating with Owasp
in its .Net development efforts.

I would like to add the following comments about this

1) I think that oPortal should be released under the LGPL
and not the GPL
The "Lesser" version the the GPL allows the use of the oPortal code together
with other 'proprietary libraries'

2) My rationaly is: "what oPortal needs now is users and eyeballs, so the
easier it is to use its code the more it will be used".

3) In my view the Open Source's copyrights are only usefull for one thing:
to avoid somebody packaging it as a proprietary application and copyright
its source code to it. Apart from that, all other Open Source benefits
(Eyeballs looking at bugs, feedback from users and code contribution) will
only happen if the Open Source application is actually used, AND, the
project's leaders are good, fair and reliable.

4) I'm abit confused about his initial question:

   - "...could custom portlets that we create have to be released under
GPL..." - what does he mean by Custom portlets in oPortal? I couldn't find
any references in www.owasp.org to portlets (see
ww.owasp.org). If he means by 'custom portlets', changes to the oportal
source, code then theoretically he should publish those changes and sent
them to the oPortal developers. But if by 'custom portlets' he means custom
XSL templates, or new DTDs that convert his XML content into his design,
then I think that he shouldn't need to make that information available 

   - "Would a site that uses oPortal come under GPL" - If by this he means
the content of the site, then (in my view) that content is copyrighted to
him and he has no need to distribute (the XML files) under GPL

5) I'm also a bit confused by Rogan Dawes' (ZA - Johannesburg
<rdawes at deloitte.co.za>) comment "...the other thing is that the GPL only
comes into play when you actually distribute something.If you only use it in
house, and never distribute, there is no requirement to release source at
all...." (quote from his email).
Surelly by putting a package available for download in SourceFourge makes
thatdistributed to anybody that requests it? The fact that the package (i.e.
software, i.e. code) is a web application (versus an interactive desktop
application) doesn't make a diference. In my view any piece of code can be
GPLed since it is the owner of that code that decides how to manage its
copyright. As long as the code distribution respects the GPL then it is a
GPL code. Rogan, if you are reading this, I would be very interrested in
reading the discussions about this issue (i.e. "...are web applications
distributed or not...") which you mentioned in your email

Mark, since his question is quite relevant and surelly other people have the
same issues, maybe be best thing would be to create a FAQ about the oPortal
licence and its possible usage.

just my two cents....

Best regards

Dinis Cruz
.Net Security Consultant
DDPlus (www.ddplus.net)

On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 18:11:49 +0200, "Dawes, Rogan (ZA - Johannesburg)" wrote


other thing is that the GPL only comes into play when you actually
distribute something.
If you
only use it in house, and never distribute, there is no requirement to
release source at all. This has led to numerous discussions especially in
the context of web applications, which are NOT actually distributed.

  -----Original Message-----From: Mark Curphey
  [mailto:mark at curphey.com] Sent: 28 November 2003
  PMTo: 'Aral Balkan';
  owasp-leaders at lists.sourceforge.netSubject:
  License question
  I am
  not a licensing expert but I know we have some people on the project who
  pretty well up on this sort of thing. Guys, any comments ?
  From: Aral Balkan
  [mailto:aral at bitsandpixels.co.uk] Sent: Friday, November 28, 2003
  5:54 AMTo: owasp at owasp.org
  I believe
  I have a firm grasp of the GPL license as it pertains to software itself,
  however in this case, if we were to use oPortal, could custom portlets
that we
  create have to be released under GPL? Would a site that uses oPortal come
  under GPL?
  --  ___(  Aral Balkan
  Director.. Bits & Pixels     : 
  www.BitsAndPixels.co.uk        Dir. 
  Ed. Content... Ultrashock        : 
  Author............. Friends of ED     : 
  Macromedia DevNet :
www.macromedia.com/devnet  Director........... London
  MMUG       : 
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