kdelibs and the GPL

Dominique Devriese fritmebufstek at pandora.be
Thu Jun 20 12:55:55 BST 2002

On Thu, Jun 20, 2002 at 01:13:44PM +0200, Rolf Magnus wrote:
> On Thursday 20 June 2002 10:43, Andreas Pour wrote:
> > A program which links with kdelibs does not, as a general matter, link
> > with the plugins, and so, it would seem, the plugin license has no
> > bearing on the program.  However, if the program was written such that
> > it does not work without the plugin, or specifically relies on it, then
> > all bets are off.
> According to the GPL FAQ, this is not true.
> See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLPluginsInNF
> IMHO, this doesn't make sense, but I'm no lawyer, so I don't know if something 
> like this can be enforced. I mean, if I write a program, I don't know what 
> plug-ins will be used with it later, and if I write a plug-in, I don't know 
> which programs will use it later. So who is responsible for not using a GPL 
> plugin with a non-free program?
I think the Linux kernel solves this issue by having modules ( ==
plugins ) export a variable containing the license they're under.  I
think the standard kernel prohibits you to load modules under
proprietary licenses... ( at least, i was writing a small kernel module
once ( just playing :), and i forgot to export this variable, and the
kernel wouldn't load it, and gave an error that i should specify the

Dominique Devriese
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