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Re: Using non-GPL libraries in a GPL program

From: Dave Crossland
Subject: Re: Using non-GPL libraries in a GPL program
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 00:35:32 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On May 26, 2:47 pm, Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:
> John Hasler wrote:
> > Juha Nieminen writes:
> > > Does this mean that I cannot use an MIT-licensed library in a GPL program
> > > (even though I can use it in basically everything else)?
> Welcome to the GNU Republic. The most funny thing is that under GNUtian
> viral theory of "work based on" and "relicensing" concept, the GPL is
> actually incompatible with public domain because unprotected material
> can't be copyright licensed at all.

IANAL, but this makes no sense: Public Domain works can be included in
a copyrighted work, and if modified, the modifications are subject to
copyright. The problem with PD is that in many jurisdictions outside
the USA, its not possible to dedicate something to the Public Domain,
works can only becomes PD by their copyright term expiring.

> "The idea is that there are some other Free Software licences which
> are compatible with the GPL meaning that if a program is released
> under one of those licences, that licence gives, effectively,
> permission to relicence under the GPL. There are two ways that can
> happen. Some licences explicitly say "you can also use this program
> under the GNU GPL". In other cases, it's because the licence is so
> permissive that to relicence it under the GNU GPL is permitted."

"That licence gives, EFFECTIVELY, permission to relicence"

Since Stallman said "effectively," that means that you cannot take him

And he is not a lawyer either, so you can ignore the whole quote

> Only copyright owners and authorized sublisenors can copyright
> (sub)license protected material. And while the MIT license does allow
> sublicensing ..., the GPL shoots itself in the foot
> proclaiming that "Sublicensing is not allowed ... the recipient
> automatically receives a license from the original licensors"

You have totally misunderstood what "sublicensing" is: It is a legal
term that means "pass on copies of the work to 3rd parties with this
license" and does NOT mean "pass on copies with another license of
your choice"

Juha, I strongly recommend reading

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