[llvm-dev] RFC: Improving license & patent issues in the LLVM community

James Y Knight via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Oct 19 14:12:45 PDT 2015

On Oct 19, 2015, at 4:03 PM, Chris Lattner via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Yes, this is a known concern with the Apache 2 license, but I don’t know if there is an actual “known” answer to this question.  DannyB or someone else can comment for sure, but my understanding is that the terms of the GPL2 prevent *any* license from including the sort of patent protection that we are looking for.
> FWIW, this is what the FSF has to say about the topic:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html#apache2
> Note that the FSF *recommends* the Apache 2 license for permissively licensed projects.
> If you are still concerned about this issue, my question is simply: what specific GPL2 compiler (or other user) that might want to use LLVM would be affected?

Glancing through the project list <http://llvm.org/ProjectsWithLLVM/> I see at least one project that might be adversely affected by that incompatibility: OpenJDK Zero. I believe OpenJDK is licensed by Oracle as "GPLv2-only with classpath exception", and that the Zero folks have patched OpenJDK to link in LLVM to provide a JIT on platforms that OpenJDK doesn't natively support with its own code generator.
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