[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

On Mon, 07 Dec 2009 15:32:41 +0100 Tomáš Bžatek wrote:

> On Mon, 2009-11-30 at 22:47 +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > 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
> Thank you for your clarification and for the links, very useful.

You're welcome.

> > > 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.
> Understood (and that's explained in the FAQ too). What about other
> plugins, dynamically linked to a GPLv2-with-exception application? Is it
> possible to use pure GPLv2 plugin with it or does it need to be granted
> an exception as well? There's only an application-to-plugin
> relationship, no plugin-to-plugin calls.

This is a difficult question.

Please bear in mind that I am not a lawyer: if you need legal advice,
you'd better hire an actual lawyer.

That said, I think the answer should be something like "it depends".
Please see

Moreover, take into account that all the FAQ by FSF is written
following the FSF's legal theory of linking, which has not yet been
tested in court, but should be taken as valid, in order to stay on the
safe side...

> I'm not copyright holder of all GPL2 sources linked to other plugins
> (neither can request an exception either).

I think one can always politely request: maybe with little hope to
see his/her request fulfilled, but anyway...

> Would the requirement to have
> everything licensed under GPL2-with-exception prevent me to
> distribute/run other plugins?

Please see above: as I told, it's a hard question...

> Also, will such exception allow to keep the DFSG designation on all
> components except the non-free ones? 

The exception is an additional permission (which can even be removed by
a re-distributor, should it become useless), hence it cannot hurt:
since GPLv2+'ed works already comply with the DFSG, I would say that
adding the exception will not affect their DFSG-compliance.

I hope this helps.

P.S.: I think that maybe all this mess is not worth doing... maybe the
best long-term solution is searching or developing a Free (GPLv2+
compatible) UnRAR replacement. 

 New location for my website! Update your bookmarks!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

Attachment: pgpCq0__gKJJe.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: