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Re: Mixture of Code unter GPL-2+ and UnRAR license compatible?

On Sat, 28 Nov 2009 18:47:38 +0100 Tomáš Bžatek wrote:

> Hi all,


> let me shed some light on source files structure:
> ./common/  -- GPLv2+, shared core across several modules, cannot be
> relicensed (LGPLv2+ might be an option though).
> ./unrar/unrar.c -- GPLv2+, may be relicensed if needed. It's a bridge
> between two APIs.
> ./unrar/unrar/ -- original unrar sources (there might be few
> modifications, but I hope to solve them soon, so we can have unmodified
> unrar sources there).
> All these sources are statically linked to a single shared object
> (library), which is being loaded by the master application.
> Now the question is: is it allowed to statically link object files with
> different licenses?

If these licenses are incompatible with each other, as it is the case
here, the result is a legally undistributable work, AFAICT.

Since the unrar license is (non-free and) GPL-incompatible, it is my
understanding that anyone who distributes the linked resulting library
would violate the copyright of the authors of the GPLv2+'ed part.

In order to allow such a linking, the copyright holders of the GPLv2+'ed
part can add an exception (that is to say, an additional permission),
as explained in

See also

> Is it allowed to load such library into a GPLv2+
> application (technically speaking it's linking again, in runtime)?

I think that this also requires an exception granted by the GPLv2+'ed
application copyright holders, as above.

> That said, I haven't spoken to unrar author yet, wanted to know lawyers
> opinion first.

Most of us debian-legal regulars are *not* lawyers.
I am *not* a lawyer myself.

There *are* a few lawyers that sometimes contribute to debian-legal,
but, of course, if you need real legal advice, I recommend that you
hire an actual lawyer...

I hope this clarifies.

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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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