MPL2 instead of LGPL

Mirko Boehm mirko at
Thu Aug 20 07:17:51 BST 2020


> On 20. Aug 2020, at 01:25, Hörmetjan Yiltiz <hyiltiz at> wrote:
> May I try to point out the elephant in the room? Most KDE applications and libraries are copyleft, with tremendous effort and contributions from a wide range of people. Since most of them belong to more than one author, it is not possible for a maintainer to simply re-licence an existing piece of software from copyleft to permissive style license; that requires getting all previous contributors on board and getting their explicit permission. However, if anyone is working on a new project based solely on permissive style licenses, the developer(s) are free to also release their new project in a permissive style license. I hope I did not digress.

No, you did not. This is a fair and probably the crucial point when discussing a license change: How can you get agreement from all relevant contributors? There are two hurdles in that process: a) getting everybody to agree that License X is the choice of the future, and then b) getting everybody down to the last person to sign off on it.

The limitations and the age of the (L)GPL are clearly showing. I agree with Martin that the technical intricacies usually get lost in legal assessments or courts. The difference between states and dynamic linking is also blurry. When I teach licensing, I teach intent: “You can use my code even in proprietary applications, but if you have modifications to my code, you should publish them under the same license.” This is very close to the understanding in the legal discussions, and disconnected from the technical details the nerds (me included) usually focus on. 


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