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Question regarding QPLed plugins for a GPLed app


I'm currently involved in a discussion on kde-core-devel regarding the
use of a QPLed plugin that is dlopened within a GPLed application.  For


I received the following response, claiming that dlopened plugins do not
need to be GPL-compatible:

> > Given that the QPL is GPL-incompatible, this raises issues for GPLed
> > programs that wish to use this kpart.  I believe this at least
> > includes quanta and kdevelop (unless I'm mistaken).
> kparts are loaded at runtime. It has always been understood in the 
> community that the license restrictions based on copyright law do not 
> apply to runtime components. The implications of reinterpreting USC 17 
> this way are profound. The effects on Java development alone would be 
> catastrophic.
> It is somewhat understood that a deliberate misuse of runtime components 
> to circumvent copyrights is not allowed, but this is certainly NOT the 
> case for quanta and kdevelop (you also forgot konqueror). These 
> applications are designed to load available runtime components solely 
> on the basis of the services made available. There is no copyright 
> violation occuring when a user loads a plugin at runtime, particularly 
> one with a generic interface like a kpart.

I'd appreciate if debian-legal could offer their advice here as to
whether this situation is allowable or not.

Please CC me on replies; I'm not subscribed.

Thanks - Ben.

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