[PD] gpl vs creative commons

IOhannes m zmoelnig zmoelnig at iem.at
Tue Jan 29 10:41:39 CET 2008

Chris McCormick wrote:
>> however, if i have a collection of abstractions published under the GPL, 
>> then i think i don't cross this magical border.
> There is no "magical border". There is just different software with
> different licenses and different types of works (which are treated
> differently under the law) created with those bits of software. 99% of

this is what i was referring to as "magical border" (trying to find a 
metaphor for "crossing the 'levels of abstractions'")

> Interpereted works are
> not covered by the GPL, but linked code is.

i cannot believe this.
one of the gpl-faqs at fsf [1] is "If a programming language interpreter 
has a license that is incompatible with the GPL, can I run GPL-covered 
programs on it?"
for me this (the mere existence of this faq with a different answer than 
"programs written in interpreted languages are not covered by the GPL") 
means, that programs running on an interpreter (that is: programs 
written in interpreted languages) _can_ be covered by GPL.

>> finally, i am still unsure about the "static linking" clause, and how it 
>> affects an interpreted language.
> It doesn't in the case of the GPL.

again quoting from [1]:

 > Another similar and very common case is to provide libraries with the
 > interpreter which are themselves interpreted. For instance, Perl comes
 > with many Perl modules, and a Java implementation comes with many Java
 > classes. These libraries and the programs that call them are always
 > dynamically linked together.
 > A consequence is that if you choose to use GPL'd Perl modules or Java
 > classes in your program, you must release the program in a
 > GPL-compatible way, regardless of the license used in the Perl or Java
 > interpreter that the combined Perl or Java program will run on.

even though it does not mention Pd explicitely (probably because it is 
significantly less used than e.g. Perl), it clearly states that if 
"interpreted libraries" (perl modules, java classes, pd abstractions) 
published under GPL (again: how is this possible if the GPL is not valid 
for interpreted languages) are used, then your program (patch) must be 
"released in a GPL-compatible way".

>> i guess, if you have a  patch that depends on a GPL'ed pdlib, and you 
>> are distributing your patch with this library (e.g. for convencience 
>> reasons), then you are kind of _statically linking_ and thus your patch 
>> is automatically GPL'ed too.
> I really don't think so, unless you are actually using a linker program
> to link the .pd file with the Pd binary, which is very unlikely. If I am
> wrong then ALL YOUR BASE BELONG TO MILLER and I am switching to
> supercollider. :)

since when does statically linking defines ownership?
how is the license of supercollider (GPL) different from Pd's license 
(BSD), that it would prevent all of your sc code belong to james mccartney?

apart from that i largely agree.


[1] http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html

> Best,
> Chris.
> -------------------
> http://mccormick.cx
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