[Pipet Devel] License

Jean-Marc Valin jean-marc.valin at hermes.usherb.ca
Tue Apr 18 12:16:49 EDT 2000

> It makes sense that making a connection between Netscape Navigator and Apache
> is not the 'linking' mentioned and restricted by the GPL, doesn't it?  The GPL
> only addresses certain types of linking.  I think this is what Linus Torvalds
> is saying in his note atop the Linux license:
>     NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel
>   services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use
>   of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".

This is not the part of the Linux license I was referring to (and unfortunatly,
I cannot find it now). It Linux was using the "pure GPL", then it would mean
that every part of it would have to be GPL compatible. Also, the (L)GPL states
that all the code, including what you link (in the sense of library linking) to,
has to be GPL-compatible. If Linux was "pure GPL" then it would not allow you to
"link" Linux with a proprietary driver. I know Linus made an explicit exception
that allow that "softens" the GPL and allow you to use proprietary drivers, as
long as they are a module, and (I'm not sure about this one) the driver doesn't
require a change in the kernel. BTW, the reason Debian didn't ship with KDE
until Qt was "open-sourced" was that KDE didn't comply with the GPL by linking
to Qt.

Anyway, I think we all agree on the important: allow people to develop
proprietary Overflow modules and distribute them as .so only.


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