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Kepler Licensing

Policies about licensing of files in Kepler and within the Kepler repositories.

Kepler is distributed using a BSD license so as to promote reuse.

Kepler Repositories

Kepler consists of at least two repositories:

  1. A subversion repository that contains source code and jar files for modules.
  2. A KAR repository.

In general, files (such as Java files) that are uploaded to the Kepler repository for shipment in a Kepler release must be BSD licensed. 

However, Kepler can use the work of others via jar files and other resources.

GNU Public License (GPL)

In general, files that are under the GPL must not be checked into the Kepler subversion or KAR repositories, and must not be shipped with Kepler releases.

Files that are under the GPL, but have an exception that is met by Kepler may be checked in.  For example, MySQL
is dual licensed (GPL and Commercial).  The MySQL GPL license has an exception for FOSS, which is met by Kepler.

Groups of Licenses

There are the following groups of licenses:

  1. Non-open source, proprietary commercially licensed files should not be checked in.  For example, if software is purchased from a vendor, then redistributing those files should follow the license of the vendor.
  2. A GPL licensed file is a file that has has license like the license at Note that the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) is a form of GPL. These files must not be checked in to the Kepler repositories.
  3. A GPL licensed file with an exception.  For example, MySQL's FOSS Exception. These files may be checked in if Kepler meets the exception and if the relevant license and exception details are also added to the module-info/licenses.txt file to make it clear how the exception applies to the Kepler product.
  4. Other open source licenses may usually be checked in.  When in doubt, ask about compatibility. For example, LGPL and Apache 2.0 licensed jar files may be checked in.  Appropriate licenses should be included in the module-info/licenses.txt file.
  5. BSD licensed files are preferred and may be checked in.


Licenses should be clearly documented in the module-info/licenses.txt file for each module.


Question and Answer


Q: I'm not sure what to do
A: Ask your manager or the kepler-dev mailing list
Q: This is awfully complex, where else can I find information?
A: See the OSI License page and the Wikipedia BSD License page.
Q: Why isn't Kepler released under the GPL?
A: We've discussed this in the past, try searching kepler-dev for GPL.  See also Bug 2318 and Bug 3196.



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