How To Break The GPL

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. rod at
Sun Mar 5 15:05:38 UTC 2000

While this might be Stallman's position, the MPL now governing the netscape
source code would not support it. The MPL, of course, is not a GNU-type

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M.
rod at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ken Arromdee [mailto:arromdee at]
> Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2000 2:12 AM
> To: license-discuss at
> Subject: Re: How To Break The GPL
> On Sat, 4 Mar 2000, David Johnson wrote:
> > But what does "direct functionality" mean in terms of
> licensing? I can see
> > functionality being added to a GPL application in ways that
> both would and
> > would not violate the GPL. If I wrote a new plugin for Gimp, it
> would add
> > functionality, but would only have runtime linkage. But putting
> the exact some
> > code within the body of the Gimp source code cause it to come
> under the purview
> > of the GPL.
> According to RMS, plugins are *also* derivative works, so both
> your examples
> would come under the GPL.  (Which produces the odd result that it is legal
> to write a GPL plugin for Internet Explorer but not for Netscape 4, since
> Internet Explorer comes under the system component exception.)

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