The code generated by protoc requires linking against the protobuf
libraries, so the Protocol Buffers license terms apply to you either way.  I
can talk to our licensing people and get this clarified if you want, but
given this, does it still matter?  BTW, v2.0.2 (to be released later this
week) will be under BSD instead of Apache 2.
On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 9:39 AM, Travis P <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Hi Kenton,
> Protocol Buffers presents an unusual, but not unique/novel, situation with
> respect to licensing.
> Projects that use PB will often not actually include PB code in their
> software (and often may not be re-distributing PB code in source or compiled
> form), but rather, will be using the output of PB, which is code.  What is
> the license of that output-code?  That's the type of question that makes
> lawyers nervous.
> This is similar to the bison situation.  Bison is GPL v2.  But obviously
> not all programs that use Bison output are GPL v2.  Bison output includes
> explicit license notice:
> _____________________________
> /* Skeleton parser for Yacc-like parsing with Bison,
>   Copyright (C) 1984, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Free
> Software Foundation, Inc.
>   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
>   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
>   the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
>   any later version.
>   ...<snip>... */
> /* As a special exception, when this file is copied by Bison into a
>   Bison output file, you may use that output file without restriction.
>   This special exception was added by the Free Software Foundation
>   in version 1.24 of Bison.  */
> _____________________________
> Can there be explicit clarification on that point?  Maybe a notice on the
> output to the effect:
> // Generated by the protocol buffer compiler.
> // Any copyright ownership is retained by the owner of the input to the
> protocol buffer compiler.
> I don't know if that's the best wording (IANAL), but I think that gives you
> the flavor of what I'm thinking.
> But then, flex output (where flex is also presumably GPL) doesn't include
> any explicit notice of licensing at all.  I seem to recall that bison was
> 'special' because some code was copied as a verbatim chunk.  I don't know if
> PB includes any such chunks.  Either way, being explicit about it may smooth
> the path in many cases.
> -Travis

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