Re: Debian i386 freeze
> Manoj Srivastava writes:
> > And troll may well sue for modifying the Qt header files, which the KDE
> > license gives the right to modify.
> It gives the right to modify the work of the KDE authors without fear that
> they will sue for copyright infringement. It does not, cannot, and does not
> claim to do more.
It gives me the right to distribute the work of the KDE authors, as
long as I comply with the terms of the GPL. In order to distribute
binaries, I must:
# 3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
#under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
#Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
# a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
# source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
# 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software
#The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
#making modifications to it. 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. However, as a
#special exception, the source code distributed need not include
#anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
#form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
#operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
#itself accompanies the executable.
So in order to distribute the binaries, I have to distribute the
complete source code, under terms of Sections 1&2. The other two
clauses (deleted above) say I can provide a written offer to distribute
the source, under terms from Sec.1&2, or pass along any such written
offer I've received. In any case, I must distribute source according
However, what the source code covers here is, is a toughy. Obviously,
it includes anything in the binary itself, but what about dynamic
libraries? I think it is a reasonable to say that without the
libraries, no "executable" exists. Since we are -trying- to distribute
something executable, it must include dynamically linked libraries. So
it must include the parts of the Qt dynamically linked in, not just the
interface stub code.
The "proof" of this viewpoint is in how the special exception has been
interpreted by RMS. As far as I know, he says that distribution of
Emacs binaries compiled for Motif is OK on systems where Motif is
"normally distributed with the major components of the operating
system...", however, it isn't OK, even dynamically linked, on Linux
systems, since it isn't normally distributed.
So the source code for the executable includes the source for Qt. So
far, no problem. We can distribute Qt source. And since this isn't
-just- KDE code anymore, it must be a derived work of KDE code.
Distribution of source code of derived works is covered in Section 2:
# 2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
#of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
#distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
#above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:
# b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
# whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
# part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
# parties under the terms of this License.
#These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
#identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
#and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
#themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
#sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you
#distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
#on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
#this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
#entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote
#Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
#your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
#exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
#collective works based on the Program.
So the -whole- source code of what I want to distribute must be covered
by GPL, including both the KDE code and the Qt code. I can distribute
Qt separately, under a different license, but if I distribute it to be
linked against KDE, I must distribute it under GPL. If the Qt license
is compatable with the GPL, then it isn't a problem.
But it isn't. The Qt license does not allow distribution of a modified
Qt library. And since I'm not the author of Qt, I can't grant anyone
that right. The GPL gives them that right, and I can't take it away
without violating Section 6. of the GPL:
# 6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
#Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
#original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
#these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further
#restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
#You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
I may not impose any further restrictions...of the rights granted
herein. So I can't say "The portions of the Qt library used by the KDE
executable are distributed under the terms of the GPL, except that you
may not modify the Qt library".
So it seems I cannot simultaneously satisfy the requirements of the
GPL, and the requirements of the Qt license. Therefore, Section 7.
ofthe GPL applies:
# 7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
#infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
#conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
#otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
#excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot
#distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
#License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
#may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent
#license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
#all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
#the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
#refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.
Since I cannot simultaneously satisfy both the GPL and Qt, I don't have
-any- right to distribute KDE binaries.
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