I’ve been participating in various open source communities for several years, but I am still occasionally blown away at how cooperative and efficient open source can be sometimes.
The most recent example came with some of today’s news about the 0.4.9 release of libvirt-java. libvirt-java has historically been LGPL which due to ASF licensing guidelines meant that folks working on Apache CloudStack couldn’t include KVM support part of the default build. The reason behind this is well grounded – people have an expectation that releases from an Apache project have licenses that are more permissive than even the LGPL.
We discussed multiple ways of getting around this, including getting approval to make convenience builds which contained a non-default build option and contained libvirt-java as a dependency. One of CloudStack’s committers, Wido den Hollander, who is also active in the libvirt community communicated the various processes and struggles that we were going through with regards to KVM support. Within a few hours Daniel Veillard sent an email to all of the libvirt-java contributors asking them to consent to a relicense to MIT. Now just over a month later that work is complete and libvirt-java is MIT licensed.
I’ve been party to more than one relicensing effort, and they are always painful, time consuming, and some of the most boring work imaginable. To the libvirt-java community, and Daniel Veillard in particular, thanks!! I appreciate you tackling this, and getting it accomplished so rapidly. I am sure that such responsiveness to folks who consume your work will continue to increase the number of folks who use it, and in the process you’ve made (at least) two projects better.