Christopher Curtis <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> 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. 

actually the situation is even worse with GIMP plug-ins since the
intent of our licensing model (GPL core, LGPL libgimp) is to
explicitely allow the possibility of closed-source plug-ins. Such a
plug-in would link against LGPL'ed libgimp code and communicate with
the GPL'ed core via pipes and shared memory segments. This heavy use
of IPC makes it difficult to decide whether this is more similar to
'system' or 'dlopen' to stay with your example. Any company that would
try its luck with a commercial GIMP plug-in risks to violate the
GPL. This probably explains why no such plug-ins exist yet (afaik).

Salut, Sven
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