This project consists of five distinct parts:
A core library implementing the ActiveSync protocol, along with a dæmon which exposes all necessary functionality via DBus. This code is dual-licensed under both LGPLv2.1+ and the Apache v2 licence.
libeasmail/ libeassync/ libeasaccount/
Client libraries used to access the above dæmon over DBus, and to manage accounts in GSettings. These libraries are licensed under LGPLv2.1+.
[ 3. syncevolution/ ]
A SyncEvolution plugin. This was moved to the SyncEvolution code base after the EAS client library APIs stabilised. It is licensed under LGPLv2.1 (or LGPLv3 at your option).
A Camel (Evolution) email back end. As with the SyncEvolution plugin, this will probably be moved our of this repository and merged into the evolution-data-server package once the library APIs have stablised. It is also licensed under LGPLv2.1+.
A graphical configuration tool designed to integrate as a module into the Qt-based MeeGo Settings application. To match the rest of the MeeGo UI code, this part is licensed under Apache v2.
It is rumoured that in some parts of the world, there are patents which cover the use of ActiveSync from a mobile client.
No evidence has been discovered which can confirm the truth of this; nobody who repeats these rumours can cite specific patents which read on the methods herein.
Furthermore, a technical assessment of the code would suggest that there is nothing here that could possibly be covered by a patent, even under the corrupt and widely-abused US patent system.
Thus, the rumoured patents covering the ActiveSync implementation would seem to be either on the server side where they do not affect us, or on obscure parts of the protocol which we have not needed to implement in this client. For the basic email and calendar synchronisation, there is nothing here which is not completely trivial and obvious, and which has not been done elsewhere, long ago.
If you are contacted by any individual or corporation claiming to have patents covering any of the code herein, and attempting to extort payment from you in return for licensing of their alleged patents, they are likely to be committing the criminal offence of fraud. You should, in the first instance, refer the matter to your local constabulary. Either they do not have patents which truly read upon this code and are simply trying to extort money with menaces, or if they do have patents in some parts of the world which read on this code base, they must have obtained those patents (or the relevant claims in those patents) by misrepresentation. Which makes it fraud.
You may well find that such a extortionist would refuse to specify which patents they claim are relevant; they just want to threaten you in the expectation that you will pay them off without investigating their claims. You should certainly not even contemplate paying for a patent licence without demanding to see specific details of the alleged patents which apply in your own country, and making your own assessment as to whether those patents are valid and whether they truly do read on this code base.
Nevertheless, the copyright licensing of this code base DOES allow you to obtain a patent licence, if you see fit to support corrupt business practices by doing so, and if your local laws do not prevent you from making payments which contribute to corruption in foreign countries.
Although the LGPLv2.1 alone would prevent you from distributing this code if you had paid for a limited patent licence, the existence of the dual-licence Apache v2 option means that you may continune to distribute the code under that licence, even if you have paid for patent licensing.
That is the reason for the dual LGPLv2.1 + Apachev2 licensing on the libeas library and the ActiveSync dæmon which implement the core of the protocol.
NOTE: This is not legal advice. But it is common sense.
David Woodhouse [email protected]
(Not speaking for my employer, for any ex-employer(s), or any future employer(s)).