License issues

Alex Larsson alexl at
Tue May 29 15:50:52 GMT 2001

On Mon, 28 May 2001, Steve Langasek wrote:

> On Thu, 24 May 2001, Richard Sharpe wrote:
> > >There are (in my mind) two kinds of possibilities for violation here:
> > >a) an app might use the gnome-vfs api to access files in general,
> > >which suddenly means that the app also can read files from smb
> > >shares.
> > >b) An app depends on the existence of the smb module for it's core
> > >functionality.
> > Hmmm, since is a library, I would not think that you have
> > to make anything that calls it, if you don't distribute it, GPL'd as well.
> > However, IANAL.
> IANAL either, but the 'conventional' understanding of the GPL (i.e., the one
> spearheaded by RMS) holds that if you link to a library that's GPLed, you're
> required to release your application's source under the GPL if you
> redistribute said app.  The exception is if the GPL library exports an ABI
> that's also provided by some other, non-GPL library.  It may also apply to
> libs that export the same API; RMS makes this explicit so that developers are
> not discouraged from using GPL'ed versions of essential system libraries.

What if the ABI is provided by several other non-GPLd libraries, but they
do slightly different things, like talk nfs instead of smb.

/ Alex

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