Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Fri Jan 19 04:32:09 UTC 2007

Ben Tilly wrote:
>> > Here is my opinion as a non-lawyer who can't give legal advice.  It is
>> > obvious to me that no part of Perl outside of Term::ReadLine depends
>> > on or is derivative from the GNU implementation of readline.  I
>> > strongly doubt that Term::ReadLine can be said to be derivative of
>> > readline.  I suspect that the author of Term::ReadLine::Gnu may be
>> > overstepping when he licenses his module  under a dual Artistic/GPL
>> > license.  (See the README file at
>> > http://search.cpan.org/~hayashi/Term-ReadLine-Gnu-1.16/ for details.)
>> I don't follow.  If you say his code is not derivative of anything,
>> shouldn't he be able to choose whatever license he wants?
> I didn't say that.  Or rather, I said that about another piece of
> code.  Here are the pieces of code of interest:
> 1. Perl minus Term::ReadLine
> 2. Term::ReadLine
> 3. Term::ReadLine::Gnu
> 4. Code written in Perl
> I think the first is obviously not derivative

I agree here.

, the second I strongly
> doubt is derivative

Still with you.

, the third I'm inclined to think would be (but
> don't feel qualified to judge)


, and the last is generally not but in
> some cases could be.

I'm not sure about this one.  I'm also still confused what you mean by
"the author of Term::ReadLine::Gnu may be overstepping".  Who is
overstepping, and why?
>> > I suspect that Python did what Perl does.  (Possibly with less
>> > pieces.)  In which case Python is written with a general plugin API,
>> > and someone wrote a Python plugin around readline.  I suspect that
>> > what is actually distributed with Python is a stub like the Perl one
>> > so the situation is completely parallel, but the Python stub may be
>> > more filled in than the Perl one is.
>> I think this hypothetical plugin/stub is most likely to be a derivative
>> work.
> I'd agree, but of the two the plugin is more likely to be derivative
> than the stub.  Without seeing that stub I won't even venture my
> unqualified opinion about whether I think it is derivative.  (I've
> seen the Perl stub and I scrolled through the source-code.  It is so
> minimal and generic that I don't think it is derivative of anything.)

Right, I was hypothesizing a well-written plugin that fully and tightly
utilizes the readline library.

Matthew Flaschen

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