Updating Genode's license to AGPLv3 + open-source linking clause

Norman Feske norman.feske at ...1...
Thu Dec 15 10:43:57 CET 2016

Hello Ilya,

> I am watching the GenodeOS for quite some time. A while ago I started a
> port of Erlang language to genode.


> Erlang is licensed under ASFv2. In
> order to compile it under GenodeOS it needs a c library.
> please clarify how it would be possible to combine ASF and AGPL.

The Apache Software License v2 is compatible to AGPLv3. That means you
are in principle even allowed to copy code ASFv2 code into a AGPLv3
code. The result would be AGPLv3. You cannot, however, copy AGPLv3 code
into ASFv2 code.

That said, as a matter of license hygiene, mixing code of different
licenses in the same source code files should be avoided whenever
possible. Even if licenses are compatible, such practice is generally
not in the interest of the original author. E.g., imagine an author who
once published some code under a liberal (MIT/BSD) license and later
rediscovers the exact code as part of a file with a strong copyleft
license. So the original author cannot legally backport bugfixes of
his/her own work into the original liberally licensed code. This would
leave a bitter taste.

Combining ASFv2 code with AGPLv3 code as "independent modules" is not a
problem at all. ASFv2 is both approved by OSI and listed as a Free
Software license by the FSF. As expressed by our linking exception
clause, we have absolutely no concern about combining such code with Genode.

Was I able to clarify your question?


Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske
Genode Labs

http://www.genode-labs.com · http://genode.org

Genode Labs GmbH · Amtsgericht Dresden · HRB 28424 · Sitz Dresden
Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. Norman Feske, Christian Helmuth

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