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[Discuss-gnuradio] GNU Radio and GPL licensing issues (again)

From: Michael Dickens
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] GNU Radio and GPL licensing issues (again)
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 14:41:08 -0400

This is similar to the original discussion from 2004; see, e.g.:
< http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/discuss-gnuradio/2004-11/ msg00086.html >

My dissertation will involve using GNU Radio in some capacity - e.g., through a "compatibility layer" into the code that I'm writing. The details of my dissertation aren't relevant to this discussion. The "compatibility layer" file (or set of files) will be the only programming that includes GNU Radio-specific programming; all of the rest of the programming for my dissertation will be of my own development. The "compatibility layer" is for convenience - to make use of certain, but not all, GNU Radio signal processing blocks (why reinvent a perfectly good wheel?) and certain other features provided by GNU Radio - but is not required for functionality of the rest of the programming.

I understand from the afore-mentioned discussion, as well as from reading the GPLv3, that my "compatibility layer" programming -must- be GPL'd in order to comply with the original license of GNU Radio (since it will use "#include <some gr header>" and hence forms a "larger work").

Can my "compatibility layer" be LGPL'd, or must the license be GPL to match that of GNU Radio?

Does the rest of my programming -have- to be GPL'd, because it -can- (but is not -required to-) make use of my "compatibility layer" (which must be GPL'd somehow), which in turn makes use of GNU Radio?

In order for me to be able to choose my dissertation code's license (which might end up being GPL; I haven't decided), do I need to further separate the programming between my "compatibility layer" and the rest of the code, e.g., via a pipe or socket (such that these 2 parts can be 'exec'd separately)?

In my reading of the GPL-FAQ, it seems like most of the answers are "it depends" ... thus I'm hoping that someone here might have more precise knowledge.

Thanks in advance for any advice! - MLD

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