Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at kemisten.nu
Wed Mar 23 10:18:19 UTC 2005

   >    Including code from non-free libraries will make your package
   >    non-free.
   > Not true.  The result would be illegal, not non-free.

   The license of the library might permit one to use code from it,
   but still might make it non-free in the sense of the GNU GPL.  For
   example, it might restrict the terms of redistribution.

No, it would make it illegal.  You wouldn't have any right to do
anything with it, not even smell it.  You just can't mix GPL code with
non-free code in anyway unless the copyright holder gives you
permission for it in a legally binding way.

   > For it to be legal the whole work has to be licensed under the
   > GNU GPL.

   I think this might not be quite correct, depending on what is meant
   by "the whole work".  There are licenses considered by the FSF to
   be compatible with the GNU GPL.

The question was about a non-free program/library + a GPLed
program/library; so in this case the whole work must be under the GPL.
This was what the OP asked about, not about mixing the GPLed code with
a GPL compatible license.

   To be absolutely sure about licensing matters, it's always best to
   ask the people at the FSF who specialize in them.


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