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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: telford
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 07:11:15 -0000

In gnu.misc.discuss Isaac <> wrote:

> A jury might be impressed with the fact that a program using dynamic
> linking cannot even load and run without the library being present,
> while the program using dlopen does run although in some alternate
> and possibly more limited function.

You could also distribute programs that used their own version of
/lib/ which was smart enough to support fallback symbols
for failed shared object linkages (presuming a linux target here).

> Similarly a jury might find it relevant that programs using dlopen
> or dynamic linking were distributed to people who had already
> permission to use the library while a statically linked executable
> involved distribution of the library without permission.

Also consider that if you don't distribute the GPL libraries AT ALL
and you use dlopen() to check whether they happen to exist at runtime,
then what does the prosecution actually point to and say "this right
here was copied and distributed"?

> The copyright holder must
> claim that the distributor of a linking program is directly
> infringing and not that some he has caused some final infringing
> entity to be made by a user.

Which must require proof that the distributer actually distributed
something owned by the copyright holder. The jury might expect to
be able to see what that was.

        - Tel

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