conducting a sane and efficient GPLv3, LGPLv3 Review

Alexander Terekhov alexander.terekhov at
Fri Aug 3 18:20:47 UTC 2007

On 8/3/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at> wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > The copyleft provision purports to infect independent, separate works that are
> > not derivative of the open source code, and requires
> > that such independent works be licensed back to the
> > licensor and the entire world under the GPL.
> This doesn't seem correct to me.  Only works "that in whole or in part
> contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof" must be
> licensed under the GPL.

Some common questions and answers in regards to licensing and patents

This FAQ is based on a a series of questions we asked the FSF in
regards to understanding how the GPL works and how patents affects the
GPL. These questions and answers are verified by the FSF lawyers,
which makes them the final interpretation on how the GPL and LGPL
interact with patents in our opinion. We paid the FSF to have them
provide us these answers. So these answers are verified correct by
people like FSF lawyer and law professor Eben Moglen.

Question: Can someone for example distribute

1. GStreamer, the LGPL library
2. Totem, a GPL playback application
3. The binary-only Sorenson decoder

together in one distribution/operating system ? If not, what needs to
be changed to make this possible ?

Answer: This would be a problem, because the GStreamer and Totem
licenses would forbid it. In order to link GStreamer to Totem, you
need to use section 3 of the LGPL to convert GStreamer to GPL. ...

> > The Copyright Act does not give the copyright owner rights to such
> > independent nonderivative works.
> Entirely independent, non-derivative works can remain

Since GStreamer apparently can't remain (under LGPL) it must be a
derivative of Totem, right?


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