How To Break The GPL

Jonathan Marks jon.marks at
Sun Mar 5 16:16:10 UTC 2000

> > I would like to draw attention away from "Derived from" and move it to
> > "Direct  Functionality".  Make sense?
> 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.

I think you are getting the idea of where I am aiming.  All code has an 
interface.  If it modifies the interface or the behaviour of the code beneath 
the code, then it is affecting "Direct Functionality".  If it makes use of the 
code at the interface without changing it, that is not affecting "Direct 
Functionality".  There is one caveat tho.  For example, if one were to take a 
Mouse Trap Library, and put a wrapper around it to make a better mouse trap, I 
would argue that that is affecting the "Direct Functionality" by moving the 
interface boundary.  Does this compute?  

   A wise man can see more from the bottom of well
   than a fool can from a mountain top.

Jonathan Marks,
11360 Clipper Court, Richmond, B.C. V73 4M3, Canada
Tel:(604) 274-2277, (604) 805-4035. Fax: (707) 221-3689 

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