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Re: LGPL question


From: Alfred M\. Szmidt
Subject: Re: LGPL question
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 10:30:03 +0100

   > If my company, let's call it "Bony Corporation", decides to
   > release a music CD "Get Right with the DRM" with a rootkit that
   > contains copyrighted music and LGPL-licensed software, is it
   > required to distribute the *music* source code under the LGPL or
   > GPL?  What *is* the source code to music?  A non-DRM'd,
   > non-encrypted copy of the music?

   I think it would irrelevant.  Let's say that the disk contained
   copyrighted software rather than music, with DRM to control access
   to the software.  IMO the GPL would still not require the
   copyrighted software to be released under the GPL simply because
   the DRM software was protected under the GPL.

To clarify, since the music on the CD does not share code at all in
thise particular case with the Lesser GNU GPL or GNU GPL licensed
software, the license does not come into effect.

>From the GPL FAQ:

What is the difference between "mere aggregation" and "combining two
modules into one program"?

 Mere aggregation of two programs means putting them side by side on
 the same CD-ROM or hard disk. We use this term in the case where they
 are separate programs, not parts of a single program. In this case,
 if one of the programs is covered by the GPL, it has no effect on the
 other program.

 Combining two modules means connecting them together so that they
 form a single larger program. If either part is covered by the GPL,
 the whole combination must also be released under the GPL--if you
 can't, or won't, do that, you may not combine them.

 What constitutes combining two parts into one program? This is a
 legal question, which ultimately judges will decide. We believe that
 a proper criterion depends both on the mechanism of communication
 (exec, pipes, rpc, function calls within a shared address space,
 etc.) and the semantics of the communication (what kinds of
 information are interchanged).

 If the modules are included in the same executable file, they are
 definitely combined in one program. If modules are designed to run
 linked together in a shared address space, that almost surely means
 combining them into one program.

 By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are
 communication mechanisms normally used between two separate
 programs. So when they are used for communication, the modules
 normally are separate programs. But if the semantics of the
 communication are intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data
 structures, that too could be a basis to consider the two parts as
 combined into a larger program.




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