[Alsaplayer-devel] GPL v.3

Hubert Chan hubert at uhoreg.ca
Wed Jul 4 16:07:20 BST 2007

On 2007-07-03 17:30:16 -0400 Dominique Michel <dominique.michel at citycable.ch> wrote:

> Le Mon, 02 Jul 2007 11:16:52 -0400,
> Hubert Chan <hubert at uhoreg.ca> a écrit :
>> On 2007-07-01 21:01:08 -0400 salsaman at xs4all.nl wrote:
>>> You are always free to add extra permissions to the GPL. You can > simply 
>>> say:
>>> > "as an exception, this program may be linked against the SGI library > 
>>> ... "
>> I think you would need to have exceptions in the licenses for all the 
>> libraries, though.
> You mean not only SGI but also the ones under "gpl2 or later" as they are 
> gpl2.

Hmm... I'm not entirely sure what the legal standing would be, but one possibility (the worst case scenario) is this: even if you take the SGI plugin out of the main tree, the SGI plugin is still linked against some AlsaPlayer code, and AlsaPlayer is linked against code that is GPLed.  So if you distribute the SGI plugin, you are still bound by the GPL since it is (indirectly) linked against GPLed code.

I'm pretty sure that if you tried to distribute binaries of the SGI plugin along with AlsaPlayer, then you would be in trouble, even if you added the exception.  I'm not sure about whether you would be allowed to distribute binaries of just the SGI plugin, but it may be OK.  It's a bit fuzzy to me because AlsaPlayer is the one calling the SGI plugin, and not the other way around.

Anyways, probably the best thing to do is take the SGI library out of the main tree, make it GPLed with an exception, and add a note that the legality of distributing a binary is unsure, and that they should understand the legal issues before distributing it.  Also, since the SGI plugin includes alsaplayer/output_plugin.h, you may want to add an exception to that as well.

Of course, you need to check with the copyright holder for sgi.c to make sure that you can add the exception.

Hubert Chan - email & Jabber: hubert at uhoreg.ca - http://www.uhoreg.ca/
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