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Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib

On Mon, 2005-07-25 at 11:59 +0200, Loïc Minier wrote:
>  GStreamer's build process builds separate binaries for the various
>  plugins, these are then dlopened when requested.
>  I would personnally think that installing only Debian's GStreamer
>  packages that are linked to LGPL libraries doesn't make your GStreamer
>  installation / packages GPL (that is the build process has nothing to
>  do with the resulting packages).
>  I would even thing that installing GStreamer plugins packages which
>  link to GPL libraries don't make your installation nor your running
>  GStreamer applications GPL (that is only dlopening() something GPL
>  makes the whole program in memory GPL, while it remains in memory).

In a technical sense, you're right, in that each binary retains its
separate copyright status.  Most people, however, are concerned about
the restrictions effectively placed on them more than about the specific
status of any particular binary.

>From the GPL:

> Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
> covered by this License; they are outside its scope.  The act of
> running the Program is not restricted...

So the particular details of how things are distributed in memory while
running aren't directly relevant.

Modification and distribution are what matters, and it's clear from
looking at the packages that GStreamer is distributed in Debian in
conjunction with GPLed bits in a manner that's more than "mere

I see two ways in which this practically effects people using Debian.
One, Debian could decide to package a plugin linking to a free but
GPL-incompatible library, such as OpenSSL.  Two, others might want to
add a few proprietary plugins on top of Debian and distribute the

This seems worth mentioning in the copyright file, even if the license
itself doesn't change.

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