Re: Use in commercial app?
Martin AA6E <aa6e <at> ewing.homedns.org>
2007-06-08 14:12:28 GMT
While we use the word "plug-in", I'm not sure that makes a difference
for licensing. We distribute a complete software package (a tar file or
whatever), and there has to be a license attached to it. That license
can't (as I understand it, IANAL) be less restrictive than the license
of the most restricted component.
If we distributed a standard "hamlib" with optional add-on GPL
"hamlib-extra", I think that would allow for the different license
levels. ** If it's a real problem. **
I notice that the website only talks about GPL licensing and not LGPL.
(www.hamlib.org) The source files (mostly) have the LGPL notice. I can
update the web if/when we are all on the same page here, so to speak.
73 Martin AA6E
Stephane Fillod wrote:
> Thu, Jun 07, 2007 at 10:44:43PM +0200, Alexandru Csete wrote:
>> On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 13:37:15 -0400 Martin AA6E <aa6e <at> ewing.homedns.org>
>>> My particular question was whether _parts of hamlib itself_ (e.g.
>>> gnuradio drivers) can have GPL when hamlib itself (the library)
>>> advertises LGPL. Maybe GPL stuff should be distributed separately?
> The core of Hamlib (frontend) is distributed under LGPL. The backends of
> Hamlib are distributed under various licenses (LGPL, GPL, maybe other).
> The license is publicised by the (misnamed) caps field .copyright.
> In a way, the GPL stuff is already distributed separately, thanks to the
> plugin approach. BTW, the GPL'd backends inherited the GPL either from the
> library they link against (e.g. gnuradio, ..) or because they borrowed
> (derived work) code from GPL code.
>>> Or maybe the author(s) would consent to changing to LGPL? I am also
>>> not a lawyer!
> Or the code can be re-written (cleanroom is best) ?
> Or the commercial application can be turned to GPL
> Read the GPL carefully, only the *customer* of the commercial application
> can require the sources (and build environnement), which is still fair.
> Disclaimer: me too, I am no a lawyer!
> Rem: all the code written from scratch in Hamlib copyrighted by me is
> distributed under LGPL.
>> I wasn't quite clear in my previous answer.
>> I think that it is the other way around, i.e. if there is GPL code in
>> hamlib, hamlib as a whole can not be LGPL since hamlib interface
>> loads and calls the backends.
> Right. If the program makes use of at least one GPL backend, then the
> program has to comply with GPL. However, if the program only makes
> use of LGPL or free-of-use backends, then the program need only honor
> the LGPL. Keep in mind that backends are *plugins*. If one plugin
> is incompatible license-wise with your program (or your country
> regulation, etc.), then you MUST remove that plugin so Hamlib
> won't use it.
>> Now, I believe the question is even more complicated because the
>> backends are loaded dynamically at run-time. Therefore, can we say that
>> a commercial app that does not use/load the GPL backends only uses the
>> LGPL part of hamlib? Maybe the GPL and LGPL licenses have an answer to
> Indeed. If the commercial app does not use/load the GPL backends (plugins)
> then the commercial application only need to comply with the LGPL.
> For example, the "G8JCF's Software Defined Radio" which is not
> commercial but apparently is still a closed source program, is making use
> of Hamlib. This is permitted by the LGPL. I secretly hope that those people
> that are having free food, will one day contribute back, at least
> for the Hamlib project: patches, hosting, user support, did I mentionned
>  http://www.g8jcf.dyndns.org/
> BTW, what kind of commercial application is this about?
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