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GPL violation

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gypsumfantastic
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Can anybody explain to me how Project Looking Glass can be released under the GPL when it requires you to link against proprietary libraries? This would be a violation of the terms of the GPL and make PLG a piece of illegal software.

Perhaps once Sun GPLs JDK1.5, JAI, Java3D are all GPLed, then this can be a piece of legal software.

For now, it is completely illegal, as far as I can tell.

Martin

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zander
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Joined: 2003-06-13

> Can anybody explain to me how Project Looking Glass
> can be released under the GPL when it requires you to
> link against proprietary libraries?

Because a License (which GPL is) prohibits usage of the software that it licences.
There is no restriction on the software itself can use. Only who can use the software.

You are turning the tables here and completely missed the point of the GPL.

Andrew John Hughes

On Thu, 2004-07-01 at 11:46, lg3d-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> > Can anybody explain to me how Project Looking Glass
> > can be released under the GPL when it requires you to
> > link against proprietary libraries?
>
> Because a License (which GPL is) prohibits usage of the software that it licences.
> There is no restriction on what it can link against.
>
> You are turning the tables here and completely missed the point of the GPL.
> ---
> [Message sent by forum member 'zander' (Thomas Zander)]
>
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The GPL basically says that any code derived from the software licensed
under it must also be under the GPL. This includes other software using
that software, and not vice versa.
The point is that a GPLed library can't be used by proprietary
software. There is no real restriction on what a GPL program or library
can run with, otherwise there wouldn't be many Java programs at all (as
the only complete Java solution is still Sun's -- even though GNU
Classpath is getting there steadily) and certainly no Free Software
Windows programs (as all its libraries, etc. are proprietary). So, yes,
it doesn't fit if you think about it.

--
Andrew :-)

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Anonymous

I'm far from being any kind of legal expert, but could you point out where exactly this is stated? The only section I could find that seemed relevant was:

[i]"This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs."[/i]

But I'm not sure that exactly applies to making use of proprietary libraries/compilers.
This section seems to imply the opposite:

[i]"However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable."[/i]

Since the JDK, JAI and Java3D are not distributed with Looking Glass, but provided separetly.
But as I said I'm no legal expert, this is just my interpretation of the GPL. I would agree that it would be great if Java, JAI, Java3D, etc. were all GPLed, and writing a program that requires proprietary libraries is not fully in the [i]spirit[/i] of the Free software movement, since users freedom can be restricted by changes in the licenses to those libraries, I'm not sure it has a direct legal bearing.

mdenty
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Joined: 2004-07-25

I think Elleomea is right.

Yes, I know, my message does not help very much ;)