Free Software and 3DSMAX

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Tue Mar 5 12:27:59 UTC 2002

> 	A company ( releases 3DSMAX plugins under the GNU GPL

Not legally possible. Their license (the GPL) is void as not applicable.

> 	2) It is very hard to figure out what licensing terms apply to 
> 	   a GNU GPL plugin in its binary form. Does it include code
> 	   and data that is subject to the 3DSMAX license ? 

You can't have a GPL plugin for a proprietary program. That's all.

> 	The answer for 2) is less obvious. I tried to call Discreet in
> germany and I'm waiting for someone to call me back. There apparently
> is no published information on this subject.

Please check the gpl-faq:

    [126]Can I use the GPL for a plug-in for a non-free program?
   If the program uses fork and exec to invoke plug-ins, then the
   plug-ins are separate programs, so the license for the main program
   makes no requirements for them. So you can use the GPL for a plug-in,
   and there are no special requirements.
   If the program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function
   calls to each other and share data structures, we believe they form a
   single program, so plug-ins must be treated as extensions to the main
   program. This means that linking the GPL-covered plug-in with the main
   program would violate the GPL. However, you can resolve that legal
   problem by adding an exception to your program's license which gives
   permission to link it with the non-free main program.
   For more details, see the question above that starts with, "I am
   writing free software that uses a non-free library."
> 	It is a good example on how dependency to non free software can
> paralyze a Free Software :-( We should always stay away from proprietary 
> products.

It is a good example of how you can't pretend to use the GPL as the
best license for everything, in my opinion.

More information about the Discussion mailing list