Re: LGPL module linked with a GPL lib
On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> > But that doesn't apply in the case of automatic systems for users to do the
> > link. The GPL allows users to do what they want privately, so the users
> > aren't performing infringing acts themselves.
> While Andrew's parallel to Grokster is IMHO inapposite, he is correct
> that a theory of contributory infringement (also available in other
> countries under the name "vicarious liability") allows recovery from a
> party whose role is to facilitate and encourage infringement by
> others. The availability of some sort of personal-use "safe harbor"
> (as in European patent law, for instance; see thread on XMMS and MP3)
> does not necessarily protect a commercial entity whose product or
> service does not have (or is not actually marketed for the sake of)
> substantial non-infringing uses.
While that's true, the right of users to link the software in private isn't
a personal-use safe harbor--it's explicitly allowed by the GPL.
If the GPL lets the user do it, it isn't infringement at all. You can't
have contributory infringement if there's no infringement.