[sldev] Re: Interpreting the GPL

Argent Stonecutter secret.argent at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 06:35:11 PST 2007

> Callum Lerwick wrote:
>> slviewer is currently GPL, and only GPL. The GPL very explicitly
>> disallows proprietary "derived works". This means plugins. So  
>> unless the
>> license changes, sorry, no proprietary plugins.

> You're forgetting the most important part of contract law;  
> everything is
> fair game until someone sues you. It's not up to the a random bearded
> man to decide what is allowed, it's up to LL.

I believe LL needs to include in their license an explanation of how  
"derivative work" should be interpreted. It's actually fairly common  
for developers to ship software under the GPL but publicly or  
privately state they don't really mean everything in it. There are  
scripts in SL that are released under the GPLL, but the way they're  
used by some creators violates the GPL... but unless the author of  
the script chooses to make a fuss this doesn't really mean anything.  
This is something that has caused problems in the Linux community,  
because Linus has taken a relatively minimalist view of the term, and  
allowed proprietary drivers in the Linux kernel, but without ever  
really drawing the line as to which APIs are fair game and which make  
a work derivative.

People who use the GPL really need to enforce it, and if they don't  
want to they should use another license (such as the LGPL), or  
explicitly call out exceptions (like the GNU Linking Exception used  
by GNU Classpath).

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