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I see several issues here. Firstly, there is no bar on using GPL software for commercial purposes. You can sell it; you must simply honour the GPL when you do so, which means giving your customers access to source, on the GPL's terms. So I think when you say commercial you mean proprietary, ie, without giving your customers access to the source of your ...


1

As I understand it, no, it's not. The clue is in the name: it's a runtime library exception (RTLE) not a compile-time exception. If you statically link your binary with GPLv3-plus-RTLE-covered libraries, not only will you be distributing GPLv3-covered code (the library's object files), but you will also have created a work which in many people's eyes is a ...


1

I find the answer to the FAQ on determining if a plugin should be considered a derived work to be illuminating on how the FSF would likely look to the use of third-party libraries/modules in primarily interpreted languages: […] If the main program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function calls to each other and share data structures, we believe ...


1

The GPL FAQ and even the GPL itself have only a limited freedom to redefine copyright. It starts out with copyright law, and then adds precedents set by courts. Now copyright law generally doesn't talk about linking, but it often does talk about derived works and aggregations. Judicial precedents are more detailed, but also more varied. Having said that, the ...


5

According to the official GPL 2 FAQ, I have to use GPL for any project using a library under GPL (even if I don't directly use its sources), because my program links to the library. This is correct. But you go on to ask a very different question, "...do I have to use GPL for any project I am running on Linux?" Running a program on the GPL'd Linux ...


14

The linux kernel has a couple of exceptions from GPLv2. Namely the exception to not treat a syscall to the kernel as linking and the exception to allow non-GPL code to link to kernel-related services exposed via libc: Syscall exception: NOTE! This copyright does not cover user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely ...


3

As I understand GPL, your software can be sold for any amount you wish, but you must make the source code available to everyone without charge. This is not a correct read of the GPL. You may sell your software for any amount that you wish, but you must make source code available to anyone to whom you give binaries for no additional charge. That person then ...


13

The official GPL FAQ, in the #PortProgramToGPL section, says If I port my program to GNU/Linux, does that mean I have to release it as free software under the GPL or some other Free Software license? (#PortProgramToGPL) In general, the answer is no—this is not a legal requirement. In specific, the answer depends on which libraries you want to use and what ...


29

You don't have to publish your Linux software under the GPL. You are of course welcome to do so, but you are under no legal obligation. You've taken a mental shortcut: “using a GPL library means I have to license under GPL”. But the GPL (and copyright law in general) doesn't care about what other software you use, but only whether your software is a ...


14

I suspect you may be overthinking this. When I download a copy of a piece of GPL software onto my home computer, I have never heard it suggested that I am conveying a copy to my landlord simply because I happen to rent my house. It's generally accepted that during the period of rental, whatever the real-world facilities of the thing that you are renting - ...


0

Can I distribute an installer script which installs X, P and Q on the user's computer when they run it? I have the feeling that you are treading on thin ice here and you should definitely consult a lawyer with experience in open-source licensing before betting a company on it. Your safest option is to distribute X without any plugins and let the user ...


2

According to the GPL FAQ: I would like to bundle GPLed software with some sort of installation software. Does that installer need to have a GPL-compatible license? (#GPLCompatInstaller) No. The installer and the files it installs are separate works. As a result, the terms of the GPL do not apply to the installation software.


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Judging by your last paragraph, the backend plugins are loaded as libraries into the application that contains your library. The GPL license considers that the application and all involved libraries are a single work and that the GPL terms and conditions must apply to every part of that work. As a consequence, if you distribute your library build with/...


5

No, the GPL doesn't apply automatically like that. But the result of using GPL-covered code that you thought wasn't GPL-covered is that you accidentally committed copyright infringement. There are various ways to stop this infringement, such as (retroactively) offering your software under the GPL as well, or by stopping to use the GPL-covered software. But ...


9

This has many philosophical, social, and practical problems: This could not be free or open software according to Debian's Free Software Guidelines since it fails the desert island test, i.e., it is necessary to communicate with some particular third party to use the software. Aside from being annoying for those who are able to comply, it is a huge ...


3

The language in GPLv2 s3b says nothing about the permissible time to fulfil a demand for Complete Corresponding Source, but given that the offer only has to be valid for three years, I doubt that a 15-month delay could be seen as reasonable by anyone. In any case, COVID isn't, generally, a permissible reason to delay on a legal obligation; see all sorts of ...


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