[Pipet Devel] license issue revisited

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Sun Sep 24 23:15:41 EDT 2000

Jean-Marc Valin wrote:
> I was actually discussing that with Richard Stallman yesterday... Here's what he
> had to say:
>  "In a technical sense, the user does perform the act of combining them.
>   But in truth they are inherently connected regardless of what any
>   specific user does.  They are designed to work as one program, and
>   this is true before any specific user obtains his copy and runs it.

There is a problem, as he says, if Piper requires these libraries to run.  I
don't believe that any of the libraries that Jean-Marc is concerned about will
be required.  But, they should not be shipped/distributed with Piper either. 
Then, it is the user's concern.

> I agree with him: we should play safe by explicitly specifying the exception,
> but the fact that the user does the linking, makes (I think) linking a non-free
> node with a GPL node legal. Since the linking is only done on demand at
> run-time, there's no redistribution problem.

Yes, I agree.  We should include that exception.  It doesn't mean, however,
that GPL and non-GPL libraries can legally be linked and then distributed
together.  I think that we should also provide such a warning to users in the

> Richard Stallman:
>     Yes, that makes sense.  You could say, for instance, that CORBA
>     communication through the interfaces you have designed, is in your
>     view interaction between two separate programs and does not make the
>     communicating modules into a single program.

Yes, it makes sense to provide that exception, just for clarity's sake,
although it doesn't seem the GPL will make CORBA linking illegal anytime soon.

> Do we all agree?

I agree.  Now, the question is GPL or LGPL ;-)  I vote for GPL with the afore
mentioned exceptions.

J.W. Bizzaro                                           jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org: The Open Lab     http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
               -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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