On Thu, 2002-03-28 at 05:59, Branko Collin wrote: 
> On 28 Mar 2002, at 11:02, Sven Neumann wrote:
> > I heard that Gobe Productive (http://www.gobe.com/) ships with
> > plug-ins based on source code  from The GIMP and sent them a letter
> > asking for source code. I'm forwarding their answer here...
> IANAL, so IMO these are the things you should run by the FSF, just to 
> make sure.
> Specifically, I wonder if using GPL'ed plug-ins cause the main app to 
> become GPL'ed.

Similarly, IANAL, but the whole debate surrounding these types of issues
is what is it that constitutes "linking".  RMS has made it clear (as I
recall) that simply calling a GPL program does not constitute linking. 
So you can run ``system( "cp file1 file2" );'' without violating the GPL
if the 'cp' program is covered by the GPL.  You cannot, however, do
something like ``dlopen( "/bin/cp" );'' 

Now, what has been done with the plugins?  To my best understanding (and
please consult the FSF), if the plugin can run as a standalone app, they
are OK.  If the plugin is being dlopened or otherwise "link"ed into the
program, they are in violation of the GPL.  If they modified the plugins
to run as standalone programs, and made these changes available under
the GPL as required by the GPL, they may have gotten away with it. 

Unfair, but not a violation.  GPL 2 is not bulletproof (especially with
anything web-based and the "distribution" clause).  Naturally, I've done
no research, and haven't even looked at their ZIPped mods, and know
little about GIMP internals, but that won't stop me from giving an
uninformed opinion!!! 

Either way, I hope everything can be resolved amicably ... 


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