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linking to GPL'd libraries WAS Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Thomas Bushnell, BSG" <tb@becket.net>
To: <debian-legal@lists.debian.org>
Cc: "Bram Moolenaar" <Bram@moolenaar.net>; <rms@gnu.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

> Glenn Maynard <g_dlegal@zewt.org> writes:
> > You can't link a GPL-incompatible program (closed source, or any that
> > have more restrictions than the GPL) to a GPL-licensed program.
> > 
> > I'm not sure of the reasoning; I think it's along the line of thought that
> > you're reusing GPL code by linking a shared library just as much as you
> > would be by copying the source and not modifying it; the only difference is
> > the mechanism.
> It's because the combined total program must (according to the GPL) be
> distributed under the terms of the GPL. But because the other part
> cannot be, the total product cannot be distributed at all without
> violating the license terms of one part or the other.
> The GPL says "if you want to distribute the GPL'd part, you must
> distribute the whole under terms compatible with the GPL".  If you
> don't or can't do that, then the GPL prohibits you from distributing
> the GPL'd part.  The distributor of the non-GPL'd part might also be
> liable for contributory infringement, depending on the exact
> circumstances.
> In any case, Debian has no reason to try and get Bram to change *that*
> part of things; but certainly we must comply with the license, and
> that means we can't distribute a vim that is linked with gpm.

This is something I am very interested in, but as of
now, I am not well versed in the subject.  My 
searching has found that this topic is well discussed,
but not necessarily well described.  Is there any 
legal precedence here?

Has the object brokerage environments or similar  
technologies -- RPC even -- ability to get around the
GPL been addressed in a meaningful proposal?

Best regards,

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