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Re: Test web-site of new octave-forge web-site including all packages

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: Test web-site of new octave-forge web-site including all packages
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 15:54:58 -0400

On 10-Oct-2006, Rafael Laboissiere wrote:

| > The parts that are actually linked with Octave and have a non-free license
| > can't be included in binary packages of Octave,
| What do you mean exactly by "actually linked with Octave" and "included in
| binary packages of Octave".  

I meant the compiled parts that must be linked to be used rather than
the .m files.  You can put any license you like on the .m files.

| > and I belive that distributing them as source files and asking the user to
| > do the link could be considered contributory infringement of the GPL.
| The code of the GPC Octave bindings is actually released under the GPL.
| However, it links against the GPC library which is non-free or, at least,
| has a license incompatible with Octave.  Is that a problem?

Yes, because to use the files you must link with some code that is
not distributed under terms that are compatible with the GPL, so
distributing the resulting work is not allowed.  Clearly this is true
for a binary that contains them.  Distributing only part and asking
the user to perform the final link step is just a technical way around
the terms of the GPL.  If this is allowed, then the GPL is
meaningless because it means that all that is needed to avoid the
terms of the GPL is to write a plug-in interface (GPL) and then
provide the non-free parts as plug-in modules.


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