Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Sep 2010 21:52 UTC
Games I've often harped on Apple for its policy regarding jailbreaking, but of course, Apple isn't the only company engaging in such practices. We already talked about Motorola, and now, we have Sony - already a company with a checkered past when it comes to consumer rights. As it turns out, Sony don't want you jailbreaking your their Playstation 3.
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RE[3]: Ridiculous
by lemur2 on Wed 8th Sep 2010 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Wrong analogy - since that's a perfectly legal activity.

I think you meant - it would be like *distributing* a proprietary app linked against the GPL without also distributing your source, or providing the recipient with an offer to obtain the source code along with it.


Even a proprietary application dynamically linked against GPL libraries is OK to distribute, because the proprietary application does not include the GPL libraries. With dynamic linking, the libraries are assumed to be already installed on the end user system, and the proprietary application just calls them. This is fully within the GPL terms ... anyone may simply run the GPL code for any purpose.

A problem only comes about when a proprietary application statically links in a GPL library. This means that the GPL code is now included within the proprietary application. The proprietary application now becomes a derived work according to the definitions of copyright law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derived_work
A derivative work pertaining to copyright law, is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work.


When it is statically linked the GPL library is included in the proprietary application, the GPL code is a copyright-protected element of an original, previously created first work, and a whole library is indeed a "major element" of the whole work.

According to copyright law, rights to the derived work are in such a case jointly held by the authors of the separate elements that make up the work. The joint owners must come to an agreement about distribution rights with respect to the derived work. If the authors of the proprietary code within the derived work wish to have distribution rights for the derived work, then they must get permission from the authors of all other parts of the derived work which were written by other parties.

The GPL alone does not give such permission. Another license must be sought.

Note that the LGPL license DOES actually give such permission as an exception to the copyleft terms of the GPL. For this very reason, many libraries are licensed under LGPL rather than GPL.

Edited 2010-09-08 04:15 UTC

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