Free Software and 3DSMAX

Simo Sorce idra at
Tue Mar 5 15:55:21 UTC 2002

On Tue, 2002-03-05 at 13:27, Alessandro Rubini wrote:
> > 	A company ( releases 3DSMAX plugins under the GNU GPL
> Not legally possible. Their license (the GPL) is void as not applicable.

Not true, as you note reporting the faq, you can do a special permission
to link it with proprietary programs, so if nevrax add this permission
to the GPL, it can be done (I'm not sure if it can be yet called GPL
after the permission clause have been added, but the faq does not say
the contrary).

> > 	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.

Read above!

> > 	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.

Sorry, but I do not agree with you there.
You may think that another licencing scheme is ok for you, but thinking
GPL is not bad per se, it is only difficult to apply some times.


Simo Sorce
Una scelta di liberta': Software Libero.
A choice of freedom: Free Software.

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