GPL and closed source

Mahesh T. Pai paivakil at
Mon Jun 6 15:44:43 UTC 2011

David Woolley said on Sat, Jun 04, 2011 at 11:07:03AM +0100,:

 > 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.

Does it make difference if the other library / dll is under an OSS, but GPL incompatible license? 

 > 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).

Oh. SIgh. I was thinking that we are discussing use; at least, I was
thinking of using; and not distributing. 

 > 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.

Again, my bad. I was discussing two independent works in which
copyright subsists, one a program, and other a library which profides
some functionality to that program.

 > 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.

Mahesh T. Pai   ||
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.
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