kdelibs and the GPL

Rob Kaper cap at capsi.com
Thu Jun 20 18:51:52 BST 2002

On Thu, Jun 20, 2002 at 06:44:39PM +0200, Rolf Magnus wrote:
> Ok, but OTOH - can you be sure that you'll win if the FSF sues you?

Sure, no. But I'd be confident.

> "The interpreted program, to the interpreter, is just data; the GPL doesn't 
> restrict what tools you process the program with. However, when the 
> interpreter is extended to provide "bindings" to other facilities (often, but 
> not necessarily, libraries), the interpreted program is effectively linked to 
> the facilities it uses through these bindings."

Hm, I could interpret that as "a PHP script making use of the bindings PHP
offers to other facilities (such as MySQL, Postgres, gd or <insert>) is
effectively linked to those facilities". So if such a library were GPL, the
scripts have to be as well?

> Especially, programmers and lawyers tend to have different perspectives on 
> something like this.

Which is exactly why I'm not sure if all the programmer arguments hold up in

> Everyone who messes with RMS is on thin ice, too, and that's the problem. I 
> don't know how many answers of the FAQ are legally ok, and if noone else 
> knows for sure, we should be careful at least.

Hence my "advocate's devil" position here: trying to raise awareness that
the GPL might very well be of little value. Maybe the Microsoft prograganda
that the GPL is a viral cancer might be a good thing because it will keep
the ignorant companies away. ;)

Rob Kaper     | Gimme some love, gimme some skin,
cap at capsi.com | if we ain't got that then we ain't got much
www.capsi.com | and we ain't got nothing, nothing! -- "Nothing" by A

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