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Re: PHP4 And GPL mixing, what is linking?

On Fri, 7 Feb 2003, James Michael DuPont wrote:

> It is really the question how can I protect a gpled php module from
> being used and exploited by a developer who does not want to contribute
> his code under the GPL.

You cannot.  The GPL does not restrict use (or even exploitation, whatever
that means).  You DO protect the GPLed module from being distributed in a 
way that the recipient cannot redistribute the result under the GPL.

> Where is the much loved sticky linking effect
> like you have with gpled c code?

It doesn't exist for usage of C code either.  It's all about distribution.

> I mean PHP4 code under the GPL. Can I make non-free PHP4 code that uses
> it? Can somone sell a plugin that uses a GPLED debiab PHP4 module and
> SQL database?

Sure.  Someone can sell the GPLed module itself, they just have to give 
the recipients the ability to get source code and redistribute it further.

Can someone distribute a binary-only plugin that uses a GPLed module?  It 
depends on what "uses" means in this case.  It would depend a lot on how 
specific the binary module's "use" of the GPL module is.  

> > > Where does linking occur?

It can occur at compile-time, distribution-time, run-time, or 
litigation-time.  Only the last one really matters, though the others will 
inform the decision made.

> > How?  The GPL permits one to do anything they want with the software,
> > if
> > they aren't distributing it.
> What if they are sellling it?

Selling is distributing, not using.

> Like Mysql does, my preventing you from connecting to the free server
> using non-free clients.

It does?  I'd be interested to hear more about this, as I don't see how 
free software can restrict usage.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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