Subject: RE: distributing GPL libreries
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 15:09:19 -0700

> > [LR:] Why should anyone want to discourage linking with non-GPL code?
> > What does FSF's preference have to do with anything?

David Woolley responded:
> For a start the FSF's preference is relevant because they are an example
> of someone who wants to discourage the use of their code in programs
> which are not "free" by their definitions.  Basically it's about not
> benefitting from the library unless you allow people to benefit from
> your program in the same way.

This is about "License Discuss", not "Wishes Discuss". And so perhaps
David's question could be something like this: "Does the license accomplish
what the licensor wishes?"
 
John Cowan is correct in his earlier proposed answer to my first question:
> Because some open-source contributors are generous sharers rather than
> generous givers, and are willing to let you make use of their source code
> only if you are willing to let them make use of yours.

John, I believe you are paraphrasing something I wrote years ago, so
obviously I agree. :-) But perhaps modern courts will interpret the law and
the license a little differently so that they don't precisely reflect the
same vision of shared generosity that seems to drive some GPL licensors. 

For example, the GPL and similar licenses may be interpreted under copyright
law so that they don't call something a derivative work simply because it
links for functional purposes to non-GPL code. This interpretation might
make the licensor's wishes about linking incompatible with the law.

Depending perhaps upon the wording and contractual effect of the licenses,
of course, but depending mostly upon copyright law, non-GPL code won't have
to be "shared" just because it links to independent GPL-licensed works,
despite the wishes of the GPL licensor. Or so I am willing to argue here.

/Larry



> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Woolley [mailto:forums@david-woolley.me.uk]
> Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 11:53 PM
> To: License Discuss
> Subject: Re: distributing GPL libreries
> 
> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> 
> > [LR:] Why should anyone want to discourage linking with non-GPL code?
> What
> > does FSF's preference have to do with anything?
> >
> 
> For a start the FSF's preference is relevant because they are an example
> of someone who wants to discourage the use of their code in programs
> which are not "free" by their definitions.  Basically it's about not
> benefitting from the library unless you allow people to benefit from
> your program in the same way.
> 
> --
> David Woolley
> Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
> RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
> that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.