Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Laurence Finston lfinsto1 at gwdg.de
Wed Mar 23 18:50:19 UTC 2005

On Wed, 23 Mar 2005, Bjoern Schiessle wrote:

> On Mi, 2005-03-23 at 15:39 +0100, Laurence Finston wrote:
> > The following links may be of interest:
> > http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#FSWithNFLibs
> > http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs
> This links talk about linking my GPLed program with a non-free lib. I
> think this point is quite clear, i as the copyright holder of the
> program can give a special permission to link again this non-free lib.

I interpret this differently:  The copyright holder of the non-free
library has given you permission to link your code to the library.
This permission may be granted to everybody in the library's license.

> The question is, what happens if i use also an GPLed lib in the same
> program were i don't have the copyright?

This is a direct quote from

"But if you want to use parts of other GPL-covered programs by other
authors in your code, you cannot authorize the exception for them. You
have to get the approval of the copyright holders of those programs."

> So if linking
> a program with two libs creates a derivated work of each other, than i
> can't do it until i have a permission form the copyright holder of the
> GPLed lib.

If A writes a library and B a program that links to A's library, I don't
believe that this makes A's library a work derived from B's program.
However, if I ever really needed to know this, I would ask at the FSF.

Personally, I will do my best to stay away from non-free libraries when
I'm writing free software, and that's what I'd recommend to anyone else
who wants to do the same.  I think it would be a better use of one's time
and energy to work on writing a free replacement for the non-free


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