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Re: KDE: a plan how to solve that

On Thu, Feb 03, 2000 at 03:44:45PM +0100, Sebastian Leske wrote:
> Maybe after this paragraph you could briefly mention just where QPL and GPL
> collide.

Hmm.. brief is tough, because people try to ignore some parts of the GPL.
Here's my current best shot:

GPL allows you to distribute a program provided you let other people:
	(1) distribute it as is
	(2) modify it and distribute it

If you're distributing binaries, you have to also distribute the sources
for the program.  The sources include the sources for any modules,
shell scripts, etc. that the program needs.  You have to distribute these
sources such that other people can distribute them as is, or modify them
and redistribute them.

Also, you're not allowed to place any restrictions on other people's
ability to modify and redistribute the sources beyond those restrictions
already in the GPL.  If you can't do everything the GPL asks, you're
not allowed to distribute that program at all.

The QPL places some restrictions on the modification and redistribution
of sources for Qt.  In particular, Troll Tech has to be allowed to place
such sources under any license they like (including ones that directly
conflict with the GPL).

One relatively simple example problem is directed at the people who
think that Qt's dynamic linking solves the problem.  These people seem
to think that dynamic linking means that Qt isn't part of the program.
But, if this is the case, it wouldn't be legal add -static to CFLAGS and
redistribute.  And, since -static is too trivial to be copyrightable,
and since it doesn't change what the program uses to function, nor how
it functions, we're talking about the same program either way.

[*if needed, insert technical discussion here about how dynamic linking
builds a running program which includes the various linked libraries.*]

Some people would then claim that what people do on their own computer
is beyond the scope of copyright law.  But that doesn't really matter,
because the intent of distributing kde binaries is to distribute that
running program which includes GPLed and Qt sources.

Maybe it would be simpler to say "we believe that there's a problem
here and they don't", and leave out any attempt to explain copyright
licensing issues completely.

> Also, just for fairness you could mention that the KDE people believe that the
> GPL allows what they do because in their opinion the QPL is not too restrictive
> to be GPL-compatible.

Some appear to believe that.  Others say that it's not worth their time to
deal with this issue.  Some have a problem with admitting there is a problem
because what about the cases where other people wrote the GPLed part.  [Or
maybe in some cases these are the views of some of the same people at
different times.]


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