[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Plugins, libraries, licenses and Debian

bts@alum.mit.edu (Brian T. Sniffen) writes:

>>>>>> What I'm trying to find out is, whether or not it's allowed to write a
>>>>>> plugin, using GPL,d libraries, for a program with MIT license, for
>>>>>> which there also exists plugins using OpenSSL (or anything
>>>>>> GPL-incompatible).
>>>>> If you want a simply answer, the answer is: "No (insert disclaimers
>>>>> here)" as others have pointed out.
>>>> As someone said, writing is always allowed, it's distribution that's
>>>> restricted.
>>> That's not quite what I said, and has a critical difference.  I said
>>> writing *the plugin itself* is allowed.  Writing the combined work of
>>> the framework, the OpenSSL-using-plugin, and the Readline-using-plugin
>>> is not allowed by the GPL.
>> If that's the case, we should put the entire KDE development team in
>> jail.  KDE is licensed under GPL, and uses both GPL stuff and OpenSSL.
>> It also uses Java and Netscape plugins, which are very much non-free.
> Why would we put them in jail?  They haven't done anything criminal.

When I run Konqueror to visit secure sites, both QT (which I obtained
under the GPL) and OpenSSL are loaded in the same address space, which
is enough to create a derived work, according to the FSF.  You said
yourself that even writing code capable of doing this was illegal.

> KDE is also manifestly not a single work: I use konquerer but no other
> part of it, for example.

Any typical use of my program would use only a few of the available
plugins.  What's the difference?

> The KDE folks have, from what I've seen, been quite careful with
> licensing issues.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to be, too.

> Can you provide any specific examples of single works incorporating
> pure-GPL work and linking against OpenSSL?

KDE is distributed as a few huge tar files, obviously intended to be
used together.  Someone said that was enough to make the GPL apply to
all of it.

>>> Ask yourself this: is what you're doing in compliance with the wishes
>>> of the authors of the various pieces of software you're using?
>> I don't know what the authors wish, I'll have to ask them.
> They've told you in the license.

They haven't told me their intent with choosing that particular

Måns Rullgård

Reply to: