lookandfeel Free Software -- FAQ
In particular, some of the changes include rewording the Preamble in a few places, adding a sentence to Section 1, the replacement of Section 10 and the addition of the "INDEMNIFICATION" clause.
In particular, some of the changes include rewording the Preamble in a few places, adding a sentence to Section 1, the replacement of Section 13 and the addition of the "INDEMNIFICATION" clause.
Within the scope of lookandfeel's software, the "published API" referred to below consists of the following:
If the package you are using is licensed under the LAFLGPL and you use it in your project by calling only the published API and you do not statically link your project to the lookandfeel project, Section 5 of the LAFLGPL stipulates that you are not obligated to release your code under the LAFLGPL.
If the package you are using is licensed under the LAFLGPL and you use it in your project by copying source code into your project, accessing it through means other than the published API or statically linking your project to the lookandfeel project, Section 5 of the LAFLGPL stipulates that you are obligated to release your project under the LAFLGPL. However, be sure to read Section 6, which provides a few exceptions to this rule.
If the package you are using is licensed under the LAFGPL and you use it in your project, Section 2 of the LAFGPL stipulates that you are obligated to license your project under the LAFGPL as well. Only using the published API (instead of copying portions of the lookandfeel project's source code into your own project) does not change this requirement.
To put it bluntly, if you're asking this question you don't understand how free software works. Please read the licenses.
In a nutshell, the LAFGPL and the LAFLGPL state that if you provide a compiled binary version for a user to use, either commercially or free of charge, you must also make the source code available to that user. However, if a user doesn't have a compiled binary version of your software, you are under no obligation to supply them with the source code. If you wish, you may sell your product on store shelves and include a CD in the box with the source code. In that way, the user must pay you to get both the product and the source code. As long as your users are never denied access to the source code for the binaries they are using, you're fulfilling your obligations.
The intent of the LAFGPL and the LAFLGPL is to provide freedom, not zero cost. Anyone who uses your software must have the freedom to modify it for their own use so they are not at your mercy for bug fixes and enhancements. If you write a piece of software and someone else bases their entire business on it, they become entirely dependent upon you. If you go out of business or decide to move to Montana and raise sheep, they're out of business too because they cannot maintain your software. The LAFGPL and LAFLGPL prevent this situation from ever forming.
Beware of selling free software, however -- you are free to charge a user for a copy of the compiled software, accompanied by the source code, but you are not allowed to prevent that user from sharing the source code you gave them. That means that if you sell KillerApp 2.0 in stores and it is covered by the LAFGPL or the LAFLGPL, your first customer can legally go home and email the source code to all his friends.
This means that unless lookandfeel is using your software, you are under no obligation to give lookandfeel your source code. Only the people to whom compiled binaries are distributed have a right to the source code.
Obviously, if you create something useful, the greatest benefit to the greatest number will be had by your releasing your software at no cost over the internet. That decision, however, is up to you.
No. In fact, both the LAFGPL (Section 10) and the LAFLGPL (Section 13) explicitly prohibit you from using lookandfeel's name or trademarks to "endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission". Please note those sections are mostly intended to prohibit little "Powered by lookandfeel software" graphics and such. They do not prohibit you from answering questions from users who want to know how you accomplished a particular trick, nor do they prohibit you from sending curious parties to this website.
No. Sending the fix to lookandfeel would certainly be polite and it would alleviate your work in having to fix the same bug in future versions of the lookandfeel software but nothing in the LAFGPL or the LAFLGPL obligates you to send bug fixes to lookandfeel.
However (as outlined in "Fine. So I'm obligated to release my project as free software. Who do I send it to? You?"), you are obligated to provide your bug fixes to your users -- the ones to whom you have distributed compiled binaries that incorporate the fixes.
Please note that according to both the LAFGPL and the LAFLGPL, you may not remove lookandfeel's copyright notices (although you may add your own), nor may you remove any notices proclaiming the lack of warranty, guarantee, etc. Lastly, according to both licenses, "You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the files and the date of any change."