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Re: [Firebird-devel] Warning: readline is GPL - incompatible with MPL

On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 13:24:31 +0200, Grzegorz Prokopski wrote:
> > Now - I've had a bit of a further read, and from what I've read, it's
> > probably ok for me to build and to distribute my stuff, since I don't
> > distribute readline as well, but apparently the debate seems to be if
> > there is a conflict for debian to ship both readline and firebird
> > together.
> I am afraid you're violating GPL this way. It doesn't matter if you
> distribute this lib or not. The fact is that you use lib's headers and use
> lib itself (while compiling and then linking the program).

The keyword here is _use_. The GPL doesn't place restrictions on use, only
on redistribution. I'm fairly certain that one of the texts at
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/ goes into this in detail.

> You could say so if you could compile FireBird having NO libreadline on
> disk (for ex. with some stub lib only and own headers). But you can't
> (ATM).

There is only a problem if you redistribute the resulting binary. (Of
course, a program that cannot be distributed in binary form is not
particularly useful from Debian's perspective)

> Even then (if you could) - the user using such FireBird would be violating
> GPL, as he would effectively link GPL-incompatible program to GPLed
> library (he won't be able and/or will not want to use empty, stub lib).

Linking GPL-incompatibly licensed code against GPLed code is not a violation
of the GPL. Distributing the result is.

"The problem with the global village is all the global village idiots."
	Paul Ginsparg

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