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

On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 01:24:31PM +0200, Grzegorz Prokopski wrote:
> W li?cie z ?ro, 07-08-2002, godz. 10:58, Mark O'Donohue pisze: 
> > Grzegorz Prokopski wrote:
> > >A friend of mine reminded me lately, that libreadline is GPL not LGPL
> > >library so it can only be used in GPL-compatible software.
> > >However AFAIK GPL is incompatible with MPL type licenses like IPL
> > Sure sounds a good idea to get it checked out, I know that it's a 
> > debatable topic on readline, particularly since it's in a shared 
> > library, and we don't redistribute readline with our binaries, since 
> > it's already included in linux.

> > 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).

> 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).

> 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).

Users do not violate the GPL: the GPL does not govern use of a program. 
But it would be illegal for Debian to *ship* a version of FireBird that
uses libreadline.

That is, if all you need are your private headers and stub library,
that's fine -- as long as that's what FireBird uses by default when
installed.  If FireBird ships with a Depends: libreadlinex, then clearly
we are linking against libreadline.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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