Oracle seems to license all their Java-related open source code under the GPL with a classpath exception. From what I understand, this seems to allow to combine these libraries with your own code into products that do not have to be covered by the GPL. How does this work? What are examples of how I can and cannot use these classes? Why was this new license used as opposed to the LGPL, which seems to allow for pretty much the same things, but is better established and understood? What are the differences to the LGPL?
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 13 '11 at 1:10
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GPL with classpath exception behaves like LGPL for most uses.
It does mean you need to be able to ship the source for the library on demand. It does not mean you need to be able to ship your own source. It happens mean you don't have to ship a way to replace the library if you statically link against it, but you cannot use a public key to prevent replacement.
It looks like the "GPL with classpath exception" style licenses may be older than LGPL.
Perhaps the only reason anyone still uses it, is because GPL code cannot be migrated to LGPL code without written permission from everyone who ever contributed code.