Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Jul 2005 14:00 UTC, submitted by Timothy R. Butler
GNU, GPL, Open Source Tim Butler knew when he mentioned something negative about the GNU Project's General Public License (GPL), in his column on KDE last week, he would inevitably be accused of arguing the GPL was a bad license. What did not fit into that piece shall now be dealt with: is the GPL a bad license or is the issue he complained about something else?
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RE[2]: Read the article
by Lumbergh on Wed 13th Jul 2005 16:18 UTC
Lumbergh
Member since:
2005-06-29

For that matter, I thought most KDE libs were licensed under the LGPL already? Anyone care to confirm/deny?)

Most KDE libs are LGPL. This makes it possible to write proprietary apps. Of course you still have to pay Trolltech.

Something that most people might not realize is that the GPL is actually a file based license. Say I have some app composed of a bunch of GPL C files. There's nothing that prevents me from adding another file under say the BSD license and releasing the app. Now, the FSF will claim that the whole app is now GPL, but your code is still under the license you chose.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Read the article
by rm6990 on Wed 13th Jul 2005 16:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Read the article"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

For that matter, I thought most KDE libs were licensed under the LGPL already? Anyone care to confirm/deny?)

Most KDE libs are LGPL. This makes it possible to write proprietary apps. Of course you still have to pay Trolltech.

Something that most people might not realize is that the GPL is actually a file based license. Say I have some app composed of a bunch of GPL C files. There's nothing that prevents me from adding another file under say the BSD license and releasing the app. Now, the FSF will claim that the whole app is now GPL, but your code is still under the license you chose.


If this is the case, then why do you insist on trolling on all of the KDE articles, such as the last one from this same author, on how KDE is not the way to go and how Gnome should be the standard *nix desktop in order to defeat Windows in the marketplace? Or do you just have nothing better to do?

Yes, your code is BSD or w/e you choose, the entire combined app is GPL though. I don't see that as a problem however. Either pony up the license fees, GPL your app, or use GTK+. Many KDE users use Gnome/GTK apps (such as Gaim), just like many Gnome users, such as myself, use KDE/Qt apps such as K3b.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Read the article
by ma_d on Wed 13th Jul 2005 17:20 in reply to "RE[2]: Read the article"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That's not correct under the terms of the GPL:
5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.

Since the GPL has yet to lose, or win, in court you seriously can't just say the license isn't lawful. There are law professors (Laurence Lessig for one) who believe the GPL is entirely legal; but of course standing up in court will be the true big test. You may find it interesting that no one has tried to beat it in court to this day.

You don't seem to understand that code is not your property in the same sense as most tangible objects. There are many differences and exceptions that make it very different. Of course, the reasons for this is a whole different discussion on patterns of creative work.

The reason the lgpl was created is because what you advocate is prohibited by the gpl:
b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.
Because "derived from the Program" is so generic, and technically completely non-descript, most consider this to mean you probably should avoid linking to gpl'ed code from non-gpl'ed code.
Now, you could use a bsd licensed code, however that code would be gpl once you link it ;) .

Reply Parent Score: 2