GPL and closed source
forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Fri Jun 3 21:12:27 UTC 2011
Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> If the question is whether GPL allows GPL'ed code to use functionality
> provided by libraries under other licenses, the answer is, (a) yes it
> does and (b) GPL does not fetter a user's freedom to use the GPL'ed
> code any manner he likes - that includes depending on non-free libraries.
However, copies can only be redistributed if the licences for all the
GPLed components grant specific permission to link against that
Giving someone software under a purported GPL licence without giving
them dispensations to link with the proprietary libraries makes the GPL
pretty pointless. It would be better to use a licence that reflects the
intended redistribution terms.
I believe you can actually modify and link GPLed code with proprietary
code when you are not the owner and don't have a dispensation, but you
are then not allowed to give it to anyone else.
> Please note that FSF's answer to "Can I write free sfotware that uses
> non-free libraries" and "What legal issues come UP if I use GPL
> incompatible lbiraries with GPL software?"
> are mostly technical; not legal. If you read clearly, the text says
> "please do not do it - write a GPL compatible, free software library".
"It" here, is issuing a dispensation.
However, note that the intention of the GPL is that most GPLed programs
should not be the sole intellectual property of the current author. By
linking with proprietary libraries, you forego the right to distribute
versions that are derivatives of other GPLed code.
Note the disputed legal issue is about when a binary program is a
derivative work of a software library.
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.
More information about the License-discuss