Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Tue Mar 22 23:03:55 UTC 2005

On 22 Mar 2005 at 19:40, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:

>    Including code from non-free libraries will make your package
>    non-free.
> Not true.  The result would be illegal, not non-free.  For it to be
> legal the whole work has to be licensed under the GNU GPL.

And what you've just said is completely untrue - he does not need to 
license the whole (derived) work under the GPL at all, only under a 
GPL compatible license. Any that makes the source available with no 
other restrictions is usually compatible.

> Once can add a special execption to the GPLed library so one allows
> for non-free libraries to use it, see the GPL FAQ "How can I allow
> linking of proprietary modules with my GPL-covered library under a
> controlled interface only?"
> The GPL FAQ has more answer releated to this.

Despite what the GPL FAQ may say, if the proprietary libraries are 
contained inside self-standing binaries (eg; DLL's) then it is 
unlikely there is GPL contamination. While this issue has not been 
proved in court, it is very hard to argue a difference between 
loading an executable and loading a DLL in technical terms in modern 
systems and I personally don't see the difference at all. What's far 
more important IMHO is whether the author's wishes have been 
contravened so the original asker of the question should work from 
that basis.


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