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Re: Debian i386 freeze

On Fri, 17 Jul 1998, Philip Hands wrote:

> > Please get it clear that kde's GPL licence can only apply to kde code.
> I agree that the KDE folks are the only people that can force people to abide 
> by the GPL on their code, and that they have no right to do anything about the 
> way people deal with the Qt code.
> Where I disagree however is that the GPL confers rights to the recipient of a 
> program, as well as upon the distributor, and those rights are enforceable by 
> the recipient (otherwise people could GPL their code, wait for it to get 
> popular, and then withdraw the GPL, and cash in).

As the copyright holder they have the right to change the license at any
time. Thus, the next release of any GPL code, by the author can always be
more restrictive, even completely proprietary. The copyright empowers the
creation of the license, not the other way around.

> In the case of KDE, the rights that are supposedly being given are neither 
> ours, nor the KDE folks' to grant, so the GPL should not be used.
FUD. KDE has the perfect right to apply the GPL to their code.

> > and in any case the kde package does not include  Qt, which is, of course,
> > a separate library.
> So KDE is compilable without using the Qt header files, is that right ?
> I don't think so.
And thus its dependence on non-free code. The KDE source is free by the
definition of the DFSG, but can not be included in main because it depends
on a non-free library for its construction and use. This is the clear
definition of a contrib package.

> And if you are correct, why is this clause in the GPL:
>    For an executable work, complete source code means all the source code
>    for all modules it contains, plus any associated interface definition
>    files, plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of
>    the executable.
> I think the header files it's compiled with and the libraries it was linked 
> against count as ``interface definition files''.
The GPL cannot impose such demands on the QT software, and can only apply
to the code that the author has created.

> You cannot say ``It doesn't apply, because the KDE folks didn't write it'', 
> because how can someone obtaining a binary package from our site determine 
> which bits of the package are covered by the GPL.
They don't have to. The binary will only work if the library is available
at runtime. The license only controls the KDE source, and the product of
that source is freely distributable under that license.


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