GPL kernel clients

Bruce Perens bruce at
Thu May 27 19:58:43 UTC 1999

From: Dominique Fober <fober at>
> should a MidiShare client application be considered as a derived work (as=
> defined by the GPL), or in other terms, is it possible to build a=
> proprietary application which uses the MidiShare GPL kernelthe

The LGPL was created for this sort of problem. It is like the GPL, but allows
proprietary code to be connected to the free code, and protects the free code
in the same manner as the GPL. I suggest you use the LGPL in this case.

If your "kernel" lives in the same address space as the client program,
like a shared library, the client would be considered a derived work. If
it communicates over an inter-process-communication interface, it would
not be considered a derived work. But the actual language of the GPL
is vague about this, which is a good reason for using the LGPL.



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