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Re: Non-free interpreted program based on a GPL library

On Sun, 2002-08-25 at 07:51, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Let's consider that theoretical case (not that much theoretical, as I
> know a real case) : a GPL'ed library, say libmysqlclient, has bindings
> for an interpreter (python, PHP, perl). Then, there is a non-free
> software that makes use of these bindings.
> Is it permitted by the GPL, or does the software has to use a
> GPL-compatible license ?


To be clearer: let's say libmysqlclient is GPLed (I don't know for
sure), and Python has a GPL-compatible license (which it does as far as
I can tell).  Now, let's assume a proprietary program named "foo",
written in Python.

Granted all this, it's legal to write Python bindings for libmysqlclient
and distribute them.  It's also legal to write and distribute foo (under
the limitations of its license and Python's, of course); the mere
existence of libmysqlclient bindings doesn't affect foo's status.

However, if foo does this:

import mysqlclient

(or whatever the name of the binding is), then things change.  It's
still legal for foo to do this (again, assuming the license of foo
allows it).  However, it is no longer legal for anyone, including the
original author of foo, to distribute foo.

If libmysqlclient is LGPLed, instead of GPLed, then it would be legal to
distribute foo with "import mysqlclient".

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