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Re: Plugins, libraries, licenses and Debian

Glenn Maynard <g_deb@zewt.org> writes:

>> the MIT license.  Is it allowed to use the MIT license for source code
>> of plugins depending on GPL'd libraries?  Is it in any way allowed to
>> distribute those plugins compiled?
> Yes, but you'll have all of the restrictions of the GPL.  That is,
> you'll have to distribute source along with binaries and the rest of
> it.

Distributing source was the plan all along, just not restricting what
that source can be linked with.

> The libraries remain under the MIT license, of course: these
> requirements come from the GPL'd library's license (which consider your
> plugin to be a combined work), and so these restrictions go away if all
> GPL linkage goes away later, or if code from the plugin is used
> elsewhere in a program that isn't linking against GPL libraries.
> That is, there's still a benefit to using the MIT license, even if
> you're linking against GPL software.
> Also, if you're not distributing the GPL-licensed plugins, then you
> aren't restricted; only people distributing GPL-encumbered packages are.

The thing is that, in my case, some very good functionality is
provided by plugins using GPL'd libraries.  I want to make sure I can
distribute those plugins, at least as source.  For reasons that should
be obvious, I'd rather not touch the GPL.

> The only problem is when you start loading both GPL plugins and
> GPL-incompatible plugins.  Here, your license is irrelevant; it's the
> plugin licenses that are in conflict.  A permissive license shouldn't
> add any new problems, at least.

There is a plugin that uses OpenSSL...

> (For what it's worth, I doubt most people using the GPL have thought all
> that much about its consequences and effects, at least from my experience
> of discussing those effects with people ...)

I suspect that might be the case.

Måns Rullgård

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