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Re: GNU licenses

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2006 18:46:15 +0200

Richard Tobin wrote:
> If you distribute the library and the library is licensed under the
> GPL, then yes.  

Sez who, Tobin?

> If the library is under the LGPL, 

Then it's effectively under the GPL as well (LGPL section 3). This is
what makes LGPL "GPL compatible" in the GNU Republic[1]. Outside the 
GNU Republic, the LGPL is "an impenetrable maze of technobabble"[2] 
and the FSF's crackpot theories about linking to GPL'd software are
in conflict with copyright law and practice to the extent that there 
is no need for the LGPL because a "user" who does not modify a GPL'd 
work of software, but simply incorporates it into a collective work 
(compilation, aggregation) and distributes it, is well within the
copyright law. This means, simply, that one can link to GPL'd software 
and distribute the compilation (it includes collective works). If the 
software has a use, simply using it is permitted under copyright law. 

17 USC 117.



We paid the FSF to have them provide us these answers. So these
answers are verified correct by people like FSF lawyer and law
professor Eben Moglen.

Question: Can someone for example distribute

1. GStreamer, the LGPL library
2. Totem, a GPL playback application
3. The binary-only Sorenson decoder

together in one distribution/operating system ?

If not, what needs to be changed to make this possible ?

Answer: This would be a problem, because the GStreamer and Totem
licenses would forbid it. In order to link GStreamer to Totem, you
need to use section 3 of the LGPL to convert GStreamer to GPL. 


[2] (Chapter 6: Reciprocity and 
the GPL)


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