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[Discuss] GPL and code linkages

Just a couple of comments.

On 12/30/2012 12:25 PM, Derek Martin wrote:
> The Drupal
> people are wrong, and this is the nature of their mistake.
I never said anything about what interpretation others in the Drupal 
community put on this.  I was giving my own interpretation based on my 
best understanding of the intent of the GPL.  So, feel free to tell me 
I'm wrong, but don't blame anyone else besides me.
> Then: the GPLv2 does not restrict you from taking two different pieces
> of work under different licenses and combining them together for your
> own use; it restricts you from DISTRIBUTING such a work under any
> license other than the GPL.  Moreover, it contains clauses which
> prohibit distribution of a work as a whole which contains pieces with
> restrictions which would prevent it from being distributed under the
> GPL.  But you can distribute them separately, under their respective
> licenses.  The trick here is, what constitutes separate distribution?
> It seems clear that statically linking your non-GPL library into your
> program and distributing the resulting binary is prohibited.  But what
> about a CD which contains the source code for both, but each in a
> separate directory that contains their respective licenses?  Such a CD
> is very arguably "a work containing the Program or a portion of it,
> either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated into another
> language..."  This is a question you'd likely need a courtroom to
> decide.  You're best off avoiding it if possible.
You're right that the restriction is on DISTRIBUTING the work, but you 
seem to be considering only two kinds of licenses: the GPL and 
GPL-incompatible licenses.  There's another class of licenses that the 
FSF has evaluated and determined to be GPL-compatible.  I'm pretty sure 
the limitation is not that all its parts must be distributed under the 
GPL, but rather that all parts must be distributed under GPL-compatible 
licenses.  E.G. - if you incorporate something you got under the 
GPL-compatible MIT License, distributing it as part of a work containing 
other parts licensed under the GPL is permissible, and doing so will not 
change the licensing on that part of the work from the MIT License to 
the GPL.


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