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LGPL or GPL+"plugins welcome" ?


From: Werner Almesberger
Subject: LGPL or GPL+"plugins welcome" ?
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 11:29:46 -0300

Hi all,

I'm working on a project that contains a piece of software for
which we'd like to allow non-free plugins. There would also be a
GPL or LGPL-licensed plugin that uses the same interface. Now,
we're trying to decide on the appropriate license for that piece
of software. The license should come from the "GNU family", i.e.
GPL or LGPL.

 - LGPL would be fine with this kind of linking

 - if using the GPL, we'd have to include a permission for
   non-free plugins, just like the Linux kernel reluctantly permits
   binary-only loadable modules (which provide great food for epic
   flame wars, as I'm well aware of :-)

Now, the question is, if we take the GPL route, what exactly would
we have to do ? I.e.

 - is the GPL "per se" compatible with such plugins ? (E.g. the
   Linux kernel's license explicitly states that using system calls
   is "normal use", and doesn't even mention modules explicitly,
   even though they're not using system calls but other "published"
   interfaces.)

 - or, would we have to de facto dual-license that code, i.e. under
   the GPL and "everything the GPL lets you do, plus you may also
   write plugins without releasing the code, as long as you're
   using <this set of functions>" ?

I'm not subscribed to this list, so please copy me on any responses.

Thanks,
- Werner

-- 
  _________________________________________________________________________
 / Werner Almesberger, Buenos Aires, Argentina     address@hidden /
/_http://www.almesberger.net/____________________________________________/




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