[MPlayer-users] Re: License

Andrew Suffield asuffield at users.sourceforge.net
Tue Oct 9 19:25:43 CEST 2001

On Tue, Oct 09, 2001 at 04:05:13PM +0300, Tomi Ollila wrote:
> Tuesday Oct 9 12:40:36 +0200 2001 Tom Mraz <t8m at centrum.cz> wrote:
> > 
> > Yes, Mplayer actually violates the GPL. Because you can't distribute
> > anything which is derivative of some GPLed work with different license than
> > GPL. The license of the included things would have to be at least LGPL and
> > then you would have to include these included things by dynamic linking at
> > runtime (no static linking). Other way you aren't allowed to distribute the
> > program.
> > So GPLed program isn't possible to link with proprietary codecs DLLs.
> How does mplayer module linking differ from Linux module linking in this
> issue. Linus allows proprietary modules to be linked w/ Linux kernel.
> Linux license is GPL and upto now no-one has loudly attacked this
> issue.

No, he doesn't. You can _load_ a closed source module at run-time if
you want, as a user. You can't include proprietary code in Linux, and
redistribute it. The GPL doesn't actually say anything about
"linking", it talks about derivative works. Independant 3rd party
modules are quite clearly not derivative works.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :                         | Dept. of Computing,
 `. `'                          | Imperial College,
   `-    http://www.debian.org/ | London, UK

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