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Re: PHPNuke license

On Wed, 2003-03-05 at 23:43, Glenn Maynard wrote: 
> On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 10:13:18PM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > Then perhaps we have a license bug here.  The text of 2(c) *only*
> > provides an exemption if "the Program itself is interactive but does not
> > normally print such an announcement".  This means that if either "the
> > Program itself is non-interactive" or "the Program normally prints such
> > an announcement" is true, you must comply with 2(c) for interactive
> > works based on the Program.  I don't see that any other reading is
> > possible.
> If the program is uninteractive, you don't need the announcement.  If
> you then turn the program into an interactive one, it's now an interactive
> program that does not normally print such an announcement.  I'm just not
> seeing the problem.

I can't put my FSF hat on for this:

Let's see if I can do it step-by-step: 

1. I write an application which links against and therefore is derived
from some GPL'd library.  

2. What gives me the right to alter the library in this way?  Section 2.
3. But I must also obey (2)(a) and (2)(c) (and (b) if I distribute it). 

4. (2)(c) kicks in because the modified program reads commands

5. There's an exception.  

6. The exception doesn't apply, because the Program itself (the GPL'd
library) isn't itself interactive.

7. Just about every user of GNU readline is violating the GPL.

8. Huh?

There's a similar case in the LGPL (finding it is left as an exercise
for the reader).  In practical terms, I think the FSF pretends these
glitches don't exist, and that these aren't violations.  And tries to
fix them for the next version.  I'll add this to my comments on the

> David, does the FSF have an opinion on this?  

AFAIK, nobody here has even considered it before.  

> For example, does the FSF
> take issue with people using GPL-licensed libraries with GPL-compatibly
> licensed software without adding a GPL blurb?  (Which I believe would be a
> side-effect of Steve's interpretation, though I'm not entirely sure.)

I've never heard of it, can't imagine it happening, and personally would not 
participate in it (indeed, I would probably quit in disgust)

> (I'm dropping the readline example, since readline might be argued to be
> interactive itself, and that just confuses things; but I can't think of
> another GPL-licensed library by the FSF off of the top of my head.)

Yeah, it's silly to say that Readline doesn't read commands interactively.

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF
-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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