[linux-elitists] questions about GPL again

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Fri Mar 9 07:22:21 PST 2012


Hi,

On Fri, 9 Mar 2012 12:02:03 +0100
Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> 
> A senior guy from a rather well-known chemical abstracs service
> just made the claim that GPL is contagious even for dynamically linked
> code. Which I recall as not being correct.
> 
> Can somebody point me towards a definitive document or
> piece of writing by a lawyer which definitevely shows
> what the actual situation is?

there’s this document:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-not-lgpl.html

“Why you shouldn't use the Lesser GPL for your next library” by Richard M.
Stallman.

If you could use dynamic linking (instead of static linking) to avoid having to
release your code under a FOSS, GPL-compatible licence, then I don’t see the
point of this recommendation, because most libraries nowadays are also usable
when compiled as shared libraries and dynamically linked.

The NMAP developers have gone past that and claim that running nmap, capturing
its output and processing it also falls under the GPL:

http://nmap.org/svn/COPYING

Personally, I think such interpretation of the GPL is far too draconic (and
would wreck havoc on many presently common uses of it), but I guess it’s up to
the courts to decide.

I also found this:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-java.html

Not sure any of this answers your questions, but I hope it helps a little. And
as usual - I am not a lawyer (IANAL).

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish

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