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Re: Tab-Completion in gnuplot

On Fri, Jun 20, 2003 at 04:53:56PM -0600, Gary Hennigan wrote:
> Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> writes:
> > Quoting /usr/share/doc/gnuplot/README.Debian:
> >
> > libreadline
> > -----------
> >
> > Yes, the built in readline of gnuplot is bad. However, libreadline
> > cannot be used instead because it is licensed under the GPL, whereas
> > gnuplot has special licenses (patches only). Linking those programs
> > together is forbidden by the GPL. Please don't file bugs telling me to
> > use libreadline in gnuplot...
> Of course I don't fully understand all the "GPL implications". I
> believe what the Debian gnuplot maintainer means is that it's ok to
> use GNU readline library with gnuplot, gnuplot just can't be
> distributed that way and so (s)he doesn't distribute it that way with
> Debian.

Correct. You can't take GPL code, link it against non-GPL code (more
specifically code that cannot be distributed under the terms of the GPL;
this means that BSD-minus-advertising-clause and LGPL are not a problem,
for example, but gnuplot's licence is since it imposes additional
restrictions over and above those in the GPL), and distribute the
resulting binary.

However, the GPL explicitly does not cover use, as section 0 says:

  Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
  covered by this License; they are outside its scope.  The act of
  running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program
  is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
  Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).
  Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.


Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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