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Re: Bug#189164: libdbd-mysql-perl uses GPL lib, may be used by GPL-incompatible apps

Le Wed, Apr 16, 2003 at 03:15:19PM -0500, Steve Langasek écrivait:
>     2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
>   of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
>   distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
>   above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:
>   [...]
>       b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
>       whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
>       part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
>       parties under the terms of this License.

I'm sorry but a perl script using DBI/DBD::mysql doesn't contain
DBD::mysql and is not derived from DBD::mysql ... and it doesn't
contain libmysqlclient12 and it isn't derived from libmysqlclient12.

This is even more clear when you consider the fact that a perl script
can use "DBI" as a general DB layer without knowing which driver is used
behind the doors.

> Please let me know if you find problems with any of my reasoning above.

The fact is that I think that you extend too easily the meaning of
"contains" and "is derived".

While a program directly linked can be considered like a derived work of
the library, I don't think that you can say that program A is a derived
work of libX if A is linked to libY which itself uses libX.

Yes this means that you can go around the limitation of the GPL... but
I'm confident that a fake library used only in that intent would be
considered as violating the spirit of the GPL. However when that
intermediate library serves a generic purpose like DBI, I doubt that
we violate the spirit of the GPL.

> Since the GPL makes no reference to technical details of linking
> mechanisms, however, I'm confident that any interpretation that permits
> distributing GPL-incompatible perl scripts together with a GPL perl
> module would also permit distributing GPL-incompatible compiled binaries
> together with GPL libraries.

Note that the perl module is not GPL only, but GPL/Artistic (like most
perl modules). I don't know how much trouble that brings ... :-)

Does your reasoning also mean that each time a proprietary perl script
is using a standard perl module, it uses the module under the terms of
the Artistic license and not under the GPL because it can't comply with
the GPL ?

It's so boring those license issues ...

Raphaël Hertzog -+- http://www.ouaza.com
Formation Linux et logiciel libre : http://www.logidee.com

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