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Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 12:53:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

[Superseded, see below]

Benjamin <> writes:

> That seems to make sense.
> Would this mean I must also provide GPL licenced alternatives for
> those people who wish to adhere to just GPL side of the licencing or
> can I leave this up to them to implement (and of course remove the
> references imports-includes in the code)?

The metric in generally is that a GPL-compatible library is actually
available fitting the same API.  Whether it is implemented by you or a
third party is irrelevant, but it must not be purely
hypothetical. [Superseded: strictly speaking, GPL compatibility is not
required.  If there are different sources implementing the same API,
such that it becomes the user's choice which library to pick, then the
work as a whole does not logically include a library that is still to
be picked by the user.]

I think this has been the situation with the readline library (which
is under the GPL).  Somebody created some stubs that provided
basically the same interface, and this made software not derivative on
readline unless explicitly linked with it.

Of course it's not really in the spirit of the GNU project to do such
trickery for the sake of accommodating proprietary products, but that
seems to be the legal borderline where at least the FSF sees no
reasonable chance in pursuing stuff legally.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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