I've been starting to rethink the license for Stripes. When I first released it, LGPL seemed like a reasonable license to me. But recently I had an experience which is making me question that decision.

Specifically I came across a tool I'd like to use, that is licensed under the regular GPL. It's a filter that does some nice things for a web application. To use it I'd have to download a jar and configure it in my web.xml. Now, I wouldn't be extending the class, nor would I even be linking with it. I'd just be using it in my Servlet container. But on the other hand, my application would start to rely on it, and would cease to function should it be removed.

My interpretation of the GPL here is that it's fine to use it, and it would not imply I would have to release my application code. Just as if I chose to deploy my application on linux, I'm using the software, but not extending or modifying it. However from reading the website and mailing list archive for said piece of software the author offers "commerial licenses", which would seem to contradict my take.

My point in all this is simply that it's confusing and I'm spending way too much time worrying about the license instead of using the software! Folks "who know better" know that the LGPL is a more permissive license. But I'm starting to wonder if other people have a similar reaction to the LGPL that I had to the GPL in this instance. Or simply see the letters GPL in the license and run the other way.

In short, the 1.3 release of Stripes is coming up quite soon and I'm considering changing the license to an apache or BSD style license. Do you think that the license for a framework like Stripes is important? Do you think this would be a good/bad move?