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About including Motif and Qt in GPL-ed programs

I discussed this with Richard Stallman recently.

The GPL explicitly states (near the end) that GPL-ed programs can not
be incorporated into non-free software. This applies to such things as
Qt and Motif. One caveat about this is that only the owner of the
copyright has the right to enforce the license, and in this case the
copyright owner is usually the violator and will not enforce against
himself. However, if _somebody_else_ makes a version of your program
linked to Qt or Motif and you don't like that, you are within your
rights to enforce against them.

Thus, Ian Jackson would be fully within his rights to enforce against
a program containing components of "dpkg" or "dselect" and including
a KDE user interface.

Richard's interpretation is that you can distribute a binary built with
non-free libraries as long as they are a standard part (read that as no
extra charge) of the operating system for which you are distributing
the software, and you aren't the entity that owns or distributes those
non-free libraries. It doesn't matter if the libraries are dynamic-linked
or not.


Can you get your operating system fixed when you need it?
Linux - the supportable operating system. http://www.debian.org/support.html
Bruce Perens K6BP   bruce@debian.org   NEW PHONE NUMBER: 510-620-3502

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