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Re: More GPL questions

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: More GPL questions
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 21:22:11 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Merijn de Weerd <> writes:

> On 2006-10-16, David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> Merijn de Weerd <> writes:
>>> The more correct terminology is that the OP can only distribute
>>> the resulting (i.e. linked) work as a whole under the GPL.
>>> If he cannot do that, "then as a consequence [the OP] may not 
>>> distribute the Program at all." No infection, just a legal
>>> choice: either release under GPL, or don't release at all.
>> The unlinked work may be affected, too, if its purpose can't be met
>> without linking, and thus the act of linking from the enduser becomes
>> a formality instead of an available technical option.  
> Then you're introducing another reason why the unlinked work may
> be a derivative of the GPL work. Sure. It could also have 
> copy&pasted GPL code inside. 
> Let's focus on things that can "reasonably [be] considered 
> independent and separate works".
>> However, if
>> there are practical uses without linking to the GPLed library (for
>> example, if an API-compatible different library exists that could be
>> employed equally well), then the case might become shaky where the
>> distribution of the unlinked executable or the source is concerned.
> Shaky? Not according to the GPL:
> "this License, and its terms, do not apply to those [independent and
> separate works] when you distribute them as separate works."

Well, the question is when a work can be considered independent and
separate.  Where there are several different options for linking, this
criterion is likely met.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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