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

On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 11:45:32AM -0600, Joe Moore wrote:
> Steve Langasek wrote:
> > On Wed, Aug 07, 2002 at 08:53:18AM -0600, Joe Moore wrote:
> >> Steve Langasek wrote:
> >> > 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.

> >> On further research,
> >> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfLibraryIsGPL seems to imply
> >> that linking a program to a GPL library (even for personal use) means
> >> the program must be GPL.

> >> This seems like a contradiction.

> > I've noticed that the FSF's GPL FAQ does a rather embarrassing job of
> > distinguishing between use and distribution/modification.  Section 0 of
> > the GPL says:

> >   Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
> >   covered by this License; they are outside its scope.  The act of
> >   running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the
> >   Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on
> >   the
> >   Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).

> > This clearly trumps anything that might be in the GPL FAQ.

> And section 4 says:
>   You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except 
>   as expressly provided under this License.

> Since there is no express permission to modify (and _not_ distribute), this
> modification would not be allowed, right?  So the user can't modify his own
> copy for personal use, without following all of section 2's requirements?
> (2a-prominant notice and 2c-changed interactive message.  2b is satisfied)

So far, we aren't doing anything that requires making modifications to
the GPL library; all the proposed modifications have been to the
application, which is not only not GPLed, it's also GPL-incompatible.  If
a user were to make modifications to a local copy of the library,
then yes, it would have to be done in a way that complies with the terms
of the GPL.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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