Liquibase is currently distributed under the LGPL license, but that poses a problem for use in commercial applications.
The license is not intended to limit the use in commercial applications, as stated by Nathan here:
Quote: “LiquiBase is licensed under the LGPL which means you can use it and distribute it in any application without affecting your application’s license.”
The legal counsel at my company however will not allow use of LGPL libraries. A similar case was mentioned here:
with a follow-up here:
I am by no means a legal expert, so I did some homework by reading this O’Reilly book:
Pages 49-62 cover the LGPL. A few excerpts follow:
Pg57: “These distinctions are unclear and the impact of this section on creators of potential �work that uses the Library� may be hard to predict.”
This is obviously scary for anyone advising on the legal implications of using LGPL.
Pg 58 states that if your application uses an LGPL library, it must be possible for the user to modify the library and re-link it to your application. As stated in other words here:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-java.html (Article: The LGPL and Java) “Your application’s license needs to allow users to modify the library, and reverse engineer your code to debug these modifications.”
Again: giving away rights to reverse engineer your code can extremely undesirable.
Back to page 59 of the O’Reilly book: “For your executable, you need to include any data and utility programs needed for reproducing the executable”
If your application contains libraries that do not allow this, you cannot combine this the an LGPL library. Another quote from page 59:
“If the distributor cannot distribute all the components of the combined work, the distributor cannot distribute any part of it.”
Based on the points above, I can understand why legal experts disapprove of LGPL. In commercial environments, the legal experts will need to approve the license before Liquibase can be used.
I think that Liquibase is best served with the largest user community, and the LGPL is getting in the way.
I’d like to recommend to switch to the Apache License Version 2.0.
Liquibase would be in excellent company with not only the products from the Apache foundation, but e.g. also the products from SpringSource.