GPL and closed source
forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Sat Jun 4 10:07:03 UTC 2011
Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> > However, copies can only be redistributed if the licences for all
> > the GPLed components grant specific permission to link against that
> > proprietary library.
> I cannot grant X permission to use works owned by Y. Sorry, not
> because I tell you so, but the law says so.
Generally Y has granted a royalty free redistribution right under
conditions like: no-reverse engineering, no access to raw interfaces,
and no source code to be provided.
With the standard GPL, the complete program has to be redistributed
under conditions that completely contradict these, so the permission to
to copy the GPLed component is void for the purposes of redistributing
with Y's code, because the result would contravene at least one of Y's
or X's conditions (X requires that Y's source code be made available
under terms at least as liberal as the GPL, Y requires that it should
not be made available under any condition).
However, if X is allowed to and exempts Y's code from the GPL's required
permissions relating to X's code, there is no longer a conflict in terms
of the provision of source etc., although there may still be a conflict
in terms of the exposure of interfaces. The exemption is to a
condition imposed by the use of X's code, not to anything that is
imposed by Y, so is not using any rights that are exclusive to Y.
Where derived works come in is that, if it should be ruled that the
complete program is not a derived work of X's work, and you accept the
bare copyright theory, then the clause in the GPL requiring the whole
program to be distributed on the GPL terms is void.
I sense that Mahesh and I will never reach a consensus on this, so I
think that Dale will just, as a minimum, have to take away the view that
the legal position is not actually at all clear.
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