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Re: GPL clients for non-free services

On Thu, 13 Mar 2003, Steve Langasek wrote:

> Ah, but if you're shipping binaries of someone *else's* GPL code, the
> requirement is that you must provide "the complete corresponding
> machine-readable source code", which includes "all the source code for
> all modules it contains

The client does not contain the server.

> , plus any associated interface definition files,
> plus the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the
> executable." 

The executable being the client.  No worries yet.

> So the requirement here is that if the RPC service is part
> of the source code, you MUST ship the server, or not ship anything at
> all.

Huh?  I'm missing that paragraph in my copy of GPLv2.  You can't ship the
server and the client without providing source to the server, but you can
ship the client by itself, even if it's not so useful without the server.

The paragraph after section 2c seems to say that if the client can
reasonably be considered a seperate work (and almost any client can be
IMO), the GPL only affects both sections (client and server) if they are
distributed as part of a whole.

Similarly, I believe it's allowed to distribute a GPL program that can use
a GPL-incompatible library at runtime, and to use that program.  You just
can't distribute the GPL program and the library together.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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