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Re: Is libreludedb DFSG compliant?

On Thu, Jan 05, 2006 at 11:18:15AM +0100, Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> Henning Makholm wrote:
> > Why on earth do they not just license it as GPL straight away? That
> > would not prevent them from offering other license terms in addition
> > for a fee (or without one) as they see fit.
> They may be worried about whether dynamic linking against their
> software creates a derivative work. With that language, they try to
> take away that worry.

But they can't do that (at least not in any consistent way).

You can't say "this software is available under the GPL only when
used in noncommercial ways".  The result is inconsistent and useless,
and not the GPL, or GPL-compatible, at all.  (GPL-compatible software
can not prohibit commercial use, since the GPL doesn't do so.)

Likewise, you can't say "available under the GPL only when linked
against something else that's GPL-compatible".  (Well, you can, but
the result is confusing and not very useful, and can't be linked
against stuff actually under the GPL, since it's GPL-incompatible.)

Now, if what they mean is "this is available under the GPL once it's
been linked against something GPL-compatible, but if you stop linking
against it, it's *still* available under the GPL", then that's fine.
It's silly (just dual-license it under the GPL to begin with), but
you can just do the one-time-linking, remove it, and then remove
the weird text (which is no longer relevant).  But I don't know why
they'd intend this.

Glenn Maynard

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