[License-discuss] Differences between GPL and LGPL
chris at metatrontech.com
Thu Jan 3 13:45:49 UTC 2013
I don't entirely disagree with you.
My reading of the LGPL however is that it offers a safe harbor from the
derivation requirements if the vehicle for that derivation is linking. I
don't think linking is either necessary or sufficient for derivation. I
don't even think it is usually that relevant. However, there are at least
some cases where it might come into play.
Here's a hypothetical.
Suppose FossGames, LLC releases a video game music player engine under the
LGPL along with an embedded MIDI synthesizer which produces a distinctive,
and artistic sound. Let's say further that it comes with a set of built-in
MIDI sequences. Let's say further that EvilCorp Inc releases a closed
source video game which uses FossGames MIDI engine and even their built in
music, all by linking to FossGames' engine, which they publish on their web
site, as minimally required by the LGPL. FossGames sues EvilCorp alleging
that EvilCorp's game is an audiovisual work which infringes on their right
to make derivative works of the music embedded in their MIDI engine.
EvilCorp responds saying that the LGPL offers a safe harbor where linking,
and invoking routines in linked libraries, is the means of that
derivation. By my reading EvilCorp wins summary judgement (which they
would not win with the GPL) or am I missing something?
I can't think of any other case where it clearly makes a difference though.
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