Subject: Choosing a license
From: Bruce Alspaugh <>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 15:20:47 -0500

My company is considering releasing a software library under an 
open-source license, but since we are developers not lawyers we could 
use some advise in selecting the most appropriate license. We would like 
to choose a license with the following characteristics:

1.  We want to allow others to link closed-source or commercial software 
with our open-source software library. We would like for them to give 
notice or acknowledgment that the work was used in it.

2.  If someone modifies the source of the library, we want to require 
them to release the modification so we could at our option legally 
include the modification in future versions of the library. 

3.  We would like to protect ourselves and contributors to the 
open-source software library when it comes to software patents.  We like 
provision 3 of the Apache 2.0 license.

Can you give us a list of software licenses that have these 
characteristics? The LGPL looks close but I don't see anything like 
characteristic 3.  The Apache 2.0 looks close, but I think it lacks 
characteristic 2. 

Are there any plans to revise the LGPL when the GPLv3 is finished to 
better deal with patents?