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

On Sun, Aug 25, 2002 at 09:24:25PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le dim 25/08/2002 à 21:20, Jeff Licquia a écrit :

> > 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.

> All right. The libmysqlclient package is indeed GPL'ed.

> > 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.

> That is exactly the case I know (excepted that it is written in PHP). It
> is distributed (or it will soon be), and I don't think the author has a
> MySQL license.

PHP itself does not have a GPL-compatible license, so if it's true that
libmysqlclient is licensed only under the GPL, we cannot distribute
php4-mysql at all.  However, I would be surprised if this is truly the
case; given how often PHP and MySQL are used together, I would expect
that someone would have noticed this problem by now.  Rather, I suspect
that the copyright file for the libmysqlclient package is inaccurate. 
In fact, a quick glance at /usr/include/mysql/mysql.h on my system shows
that this file is distributed under the LGPL.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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