Subject Re: [Firebird-admin] [Firebird-contact] Concerning the InterBase Public License
Author Ann W. Harrison
At 02:19 AM 8/31/2004, Sachiko Matsuda wrote:
>Dear Sir or Madam,
>I have been researching about the conditions of distribution under
>the InterBase Public License Version 1.0 as one of the major Open Source
>What I would like to ask is relating to a "larger work".
>3.7. states as follows.
>Larger Works.
>You may create a Larger Work by combining Covered Code with other code not
>governed by the terms of this License and distribute the Larger Work as
>a single product. In such a case, You must make sure the requirements of
>this License are fulfilled for the Covered Code.
>What are the conditions for complying with a "larger work" ?
>Could you please kindly tell me what I must do in more detail in order to
>avoid providing
>the source code of my own as a larger work?

The license puts few restrictions on anyone who uses Firebird or Open
Source InterBase unchanged. The vast majority of Firebird and Open Source
InterBase users simply
redistribute the executables without any change. If that is your
intention, the IPL
and IDPL don't affect code you develop in any way.

For example, suppose you want to build a traffic monitoring system and
store the data it generates in a Firebird database. Your system uses the
Firebird API, either directly or through components. You make no changes
to Firebird, so you have no obligations under Section 3.

The license does require that any changes to the source code of Firebird or
Open source InterBase be published as described in section 3.

From the definitions:

1.1. ''Contributor'' means each entity that creates or contributes
to the creation of Modifications.

1.9. ''Modifications'' means any addition to or deletion from the
substance or structure of either the Original Code or any previous
Modifications. When Covered Code is released as a series of files,
a Modification is:

A. Any addition to or deletion from the contents of a file containing
Original Code or previous Modifications.

B. Any new file that contains any part of the Original Code or
previous Modifications.

If you change the source code of Firebird or Open Source InterBase, or
include source code from those projects in source code file that you
create, you are a contributor and must follow the rules in sections 3.1 -
3.4. How does this work in practice?

Suppose you want to add a new index type to Firebird. The actual index
technology is a valued corporate asset, and you don't want the world to see
it. You can add your new index type to Firebird without publishing the
code in one of two ways.

1) Use the new Fire-plus-Bird exclusively within your corporation.
2) Design a set of interface modules that allow the compiler/optimizer and
runtime code of Firebird to call your code, but which do not contain any of
your secret technology. Section 3 applies to the interface modules because
they are derived from the Firebird source code, but not to your proprietary

I hope this answers your question.


Ann Harrison