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Re: Gaim-Encryption plugin violates Gaim's license#

On Mon, Jun 02, 2003 at 08:28:43PM +0100, Robert McQueen wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 02, 2003 at 09:25:32AM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > It should be noted that this can only be a violation of the GPL if
> > someone is distributing the encryption plugin in binary form.  (Does
> > Gentoo distribute binaries of this software?)  It is generally held that
> > it would also *not* be a violation of the GPL if you distribute the
> > encryption module in isolation, only if you distribute it together with
> > binaries of gaim itself.

> What about the end user who loads the plugin and OpenSSL becomes a part
> of their running Gaim process? My concern is that even if you distribute
> in source form, you're still condoning ignoring part of Gaim's license,
> which seems highly dubious. So as well as saying "Debian will never ship
> this" as a Debian developer, I was also saying "please do not encourage
> your users to ignore our license" as a Gaim contributor.

It is generally agreed that local modifications to a GPL work are not
restricted, as they fall under the category of "use" rather than
"copying and distribution".  The GPL is not an end-user license; no one
can ever be in violation of the GPL just by using the program.  It's
only when you distribute the program that these restrictions are in

It's my personal feeling that attempts to use the GPL as a click-through
EULA are sufficiently heinous that they merit editing the local source
to suppress the license's display, thus removing the need to agree to
the license before using the software.

> > To be precise, you cannot take advantage of the GPL's "OS exemption" if
> > your product is the OS.

> I don't quite see how this relates. What I meant was that if you have
> Gaim for Windows, and load in Gaim-Encryption, then you have linked
> OpenSSL into the GPL Gaim binary and therefore violated Gaim's license,
> because OpenSSL is definitely not a component of the OS on Windows.

Ah, mis-parse on my end.  Yes, OpenSSL is not part of the OS on Windows
-- and being part of the OS also doesn't help Debian, where packaging
the encryption plugin is concerned.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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