[OT] QPL-ed library linking with a GPL-ed library.

Russ Allbery rra at stanford.edu
Thu Jul 5 01:32:14 UTC 2001

Carlo Wood <carlo at alinoe.com> writes:

> On Wed, Jul 04, 2001 at 07:03:41PM -0600, Tom Tromey wrote: Another
> issue is libbfd :/.  This seems to be GPL (not LGPL).  While my
> understanding of the GLP is that I could USE the library without getting
> "a work based on the Work" and thus without being forced to use the GPL
> for anything that links with libbfd, others seem to think so -- and the
> existance of LGPL seems to indicate that too.

The FSF's interpretation of the GPL is that you cannot use (even by
linking) a GPL'd library in a non-GPL-compatible work.  Whether this is
also the legal meaning of the license is widely and hotly disputed; I
recommend you to obtain the advice of an intellectual property lawyer if
you want a reliable opinion.  I don't consider any of the various
non-lawyer opinions that you'll find floating around the net to be
reliable, including mine or the FSF's.

It is clear at least to me from other subsequent statements that it was
the intention of the authors of the GPL to prohibit this use of GPL'd
code.  See, for example:


> Can someone tell me where I can get advise about this problem?

Given that the question is about one of their licenses, licensing at gnu.org
would be the best place to get the official GNU position on this point.

Russ Allbery (rra at stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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