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Re: Is this an Octave compatible license?

From: Orsila Heikki
Subject: Re: Is this an Octave compatible license?
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 20:02:35 +0300 (EET DST)

On Thu, 6 Sep 2001, E. Joshua Rigler wrote:
> FSF's position on linking to non-free libraries.

I find it sad too.

> Not that I doubt he is correct, but rather I don't understand FSF's
> position.  Such a restriction, to my mind, makes the term "free
> software" a rather ironic joke.  I certainly understand preventing
> non-free software from linking to GPL'd code (why should they profit
> from the unselfish efforts of others, without giving anything back), but
> the reverse will most likely prevent more people from using the GPL
> license rather than encourage them.  Obviously, I prefer opensource
> software, but I would NEVER condone forcing people to use it.

Fortunately, you can use GPL'ed libraries with non-gpl'ed programs if you
observer following restrictions:

1. distribute gpl and non-gpl in different packages
2. products must be compiled and/or installed separately
3. use only dynamic linking

GPL license has no legal value to prohibit people's personal rights to
link any library to any other library whatsoever.

As long as the non-gpl program doesn't use gpl'ed headers from gpl'ed
library it's safe.

I break no law, if I link my non-gpl with a gpl library. But I must not
spread them in the same packet. Actually I can even use static linking
on my own machine and I'm within my rights.

And as far as I have heard. This has been done many times. But I can't
right now give you any examples.

The point is: GPL can not take anyone's rights away!

And on top of that. It's many times possible to overcome the points FSF
makes. Here are few methods
        - pipes (fork,execv)
        - sockets
        - sharedmem

All methods above are perfectly valid ways to use GPL software with any

One can even write specific gpl'ed wrappers to make a gpl library run as
a stand alone socket based server (of course it can get tricky ;)

Heikki Orsila                   32 bittiä - entä sitten?
address@hidden      - Petteri Järvinen (1992)

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