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linking GPL to non-GPL

From: Chad Whitacre
Subject: linking GPL to non-GPL
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 13:31:40 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8 (Windows/20040913)


Not sure myself, but perhaps this FAQ helps?


Jose Molina wrote:
I have a question. If I have a library that is not Free (by FSF standards),
and it is distributed as a part of a GNU/Linux distro, and I link a GPL
program against it, is it permitted by the GPL terms, I mean, can this
library be considered part of the operating system?. The specific case is
OpenMotif on a RedHat system. I was going to link a GPL'ed program (not
developed by me) against it.

-----Mensaje original-----
[]En nombre
de David Kastrup
Enviado el: Miercoles, 25 de Mayo de 2005 11:58
Asunto: Re: how much is too much?

Chad Whitacre <> writes:

I.e., would it be possible to package all GPL code that I want to
use in an LGPL library and use that from a public domain package?

Look, "public domain" means that everybody is allowed to do whatever
he wants with the product (including releasing proprietary versions).
It completely escapes me how you can imagine to have the right to do

By "use" I meant in linked fashion. My thought was to make the
functionality of the GPL'd code available to the public domain code
via an LGPL'd library. Either way the answer appears to be "no."

What gives you the right to change the GPL to LGPL?

In general I am trying to get educated on the whole
copyright/licensing issue. Distinguishing between the two was a
first step, the GPL FAQ is explaining more.

Well, for one thing, if you get a license for something, it is not
your option to change the conditions of the license.

If you want different conditions, ask the copyright holder.

The bottom line seems to be that the street between copyleft and
non-copyleft free software only runs one way: copyleft can
incorporate non-copyleft and retain its identity, but not the other
way around. I.e., the GPL's hegemony extends to non-copyleft free
software as much as to proprietary software. Accurate?

No.  GPLed code is not convertible into other licenses, but that does
not mean that other code is convertible to the GPL.  There are
actually very few licenses that allow rereleasing as GPL.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum
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