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


First of all, many thanks for your reply, Frencesco.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 10:47:17PM +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Sat, 28 Nov 2009 18:47:38 +0100 Tomáš Bžatek wrote:
> > 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
> http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs
> See also
> http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#FSWithNFLibs
> > 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.

So this means, if upstream (in this case Tomas) will add an explicit
permission, but this permission should be placed in each file to which
this exception is granted. I do not know if Tomas would do that. I
will wait for this to be clarified. Thomas has said, he would
re-license the unrar/unrar.c, but the ones in common/ would not be
possible. With the above in my understanding of your explanation, this
will still make it inpossible to redistribute tuxcmd-modules-unrar,

Many thanks again for your reply,

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