Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Fri Jan 19 03:46:28 UTC 2007

Chuck Swiger wrote:
> On Jan 18, 2007, at 3:39 PM, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
>>> Notice the key phrases "...where your code depends on static or dynamic
>>> linking of a GPL'ed library..." & "...in order to operate".
>> Sticking to the example of readline and Python, part of the code is
>> still specifically written to depend on readline.  I think under Eben's
>> argument, this part would then be a derivative work.  Thus, that part at
>> least should be licensed under the GPL.
> Well, Python's Modules/readline.c isn't under the GPL.  Python's README
> states:

I've been talking "should" not "is".

> Feel free to report Python to gpl-violations.org, if you like.

Not interested (I'm actually on that mailing list).  If the FSF wants to
enforce more strictly, they certainly can.

>>> "A module written to be plugged into an API defined specifically to
>>> support dynamic loading?
>>> Moglen:  No."
>> This isn't quite the same thing.  Readline wasn't written to an existing
>> Python plugin API.  Part of Python was written to interact specifically
>> with readline.
> Python is designed with a plugin API which can dynamically load optional
> modules if present.  It's entirely possible to add readline support to a
> version of Python compiled without it; for examples see:

Again, it would be this plugin that is derivative of readline.

> http://face.centosprime.com/macosxw/?p=171
> http://cheeseshop.python.org/pypi/readline/2.4.2
>> Also, Chuck, please don't CC list members to list mail, unless they
>> ask you to.
> Sigh.  Different mailing lists have different conventions with regard to
> that;
> I will be happy to refrain from CC:ing you in the future, or at least
> try not to do so....

Thank you.  I don't think anyone on this list generally *prefers* being

Matthew Flaschen

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