[Pharo-project] Fwd: License question

Stéphane Ducasse stephane.ducasse at inria.fr
Wed Oct 13 04:07:31 EDT 2010



Begin forwarded message:

> From: Paolo Bonzini <bonzini at gnu.org>
> Date: October 13, 2010 9:51:01 AM GMT+02:00
> To: "Schwab,Wilhelm K" <bschwab at anest.ufl.edu>
> Cc: "Fitzell, Julian" <jfitzell at cincom.com>, "stephane.ducasse at inria.fr" <stephane.ducasse at inria.fr>
> Subject: Re: [Pharo-project] License question
> 
> On 10/12/2010 08:13 PM, Schwab,Wilhelm K wrote:
>> nor do I want my code, other than the binding itself, affected by
>> GPL.
> 
> Code that uses the binding is obviously affected by the GPL, just like if you used GSL directly in C.  It's not like using a different programming language is a magic wand that makes the GPL disappear.
> 
> However, your code that does not use the binding will not be affected by the GPL.  Code doesn't fall under the GPL just because it lived for a short time in the same image.  In particular:
> 
> 1) the GPL does not kick in until you distribute the code.  As long as GPL and non-GPL (or even GPL-incompatible) code resides in a private image (or even circulates within an institution such as a company) there is no distribution and the GPL is not involved at all.
> 
> 2) let's say you juxtapose GPL and X11-licensed (MIT) code in the same image.  The non-GPL code doesn't use your bindings or any other GPL code, it's just placed together in the same image. This time you distribute the image, and in order to do so you must follow the GPL. However, you can still extract the X11-licensed code and distribute _that_ code under its own original license, or even as proprietary code since _that_ code's license is what counts.
> 
>> It would be a shame to have to limit the a release to just the
>> binding, but if GPL starts to infect anything that connects to the
>> binding
> 
> It doesn't "start to infect".  Please do not use such childish language.  The GPL simply "applies" to anything that connects to the binding, just like it would "apply" to anything that uses GSL using the C interface.
> 
> You probably would not say that using proprietary source code in Squeak or Pharo "infects" it with a proprietary license.  You'd simply say "you have to respect the license of the proprietary source code", or you violate the copyright owner's rights.  The GPL is absolutely no different.  It tells you what you can do and what you cannot do.
> 
> Very frankly: if you think the GPL has "infected" something, well, it didn't do anything on its own, it was _you_ who did something stupid.
> 
> Paolo





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