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Re: [OctDev] Test web-site of new octave-forge web-site including all pa

From: David Bateman
Subject: Re: [OctDev] Test web-site of new octave-forge web-site including all packages
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 10:14:24 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060921)

John W. Eaton wrote:
> 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.
> jwe

My personal feeling on this is the intention of the developer counts
enormously in how this issue should be treated. It the goal of have the
user do the linking stage is just to overcome restrictions of the GPL on
commercial use of GPLed code then I support your position completely. If
the developers goal is to supply functionality to the user, with no
personal profit motive, then my feeling is that we should discourage but
accept this practice. When I say developer here, I mean the developer of
the octave bindings and not the developer of GPC itself, who as an
academic whose salary is paid for by tax revenue of his government is
morally in a bad position to impose restrictive licenses.

GPC has existed for a long while and to my mind falls firmly in the
second category. The fact that I personally can not use GPC do to its
license restrictions however is not conducive to trying to get me to
doing the porting of such a package to the package manager. It is very
low on my list of priorities.


David Bateman                                address@hidden
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