On Wed, May 12, 2004 at 01:12:03PM +0200, Dave Neary <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> But let's take an example...
> I write a GPL network daemon (say red carpet). Someone write a non-GPL 
> compliant client (say an LGPL encapsulation of the RedCarpet XML-RPC 
> protocol to allow proprietary implementations). Now that library is calling 
> GPL code, albeit via a network protocol. Is the client library in breach of 
> the GPL?

Well, that's what the license says:

   The "Program", below, refers to any such program or work, and a "work
   based on the Program" means either the Program or any derivative work
   under copyright law: that is to say, a work containing the Program or a
   portion of it, either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated
   into another language.  (Hereinafter, translation is included without
   limitation in the term "modification".)


   If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
   and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
   themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
   sections when you distribute them as separate works.

   [maybe other sections apply]

So I hope it's very clear now that "it depends".

On what it does depend very much is influenced by local jurisdiction. In
short, you won't know what a derived or a seperate work is until you go to
court. No matter what people here think or claim, what counts is an actual
decision by the court. Always.

Usually, there are two groups that might be consulted when one goes to
court: the author of the original license document (the FSF) and the
author of the program in question.

It's a very good idea to have a clarification accompanying the license for
this case (as is the case with the linux kernel, and the gimp). In most
courts, it counts a lot if the gimp developers say: "uses of libgimp to
interface with the gimp do not fall under the gpl, even though it's doing
rpc to the gimp".

What most people want, however, is a clear indication and definition
of derived work, just like you seem to do. However, it's important to
understand that this is impossible, not just because local laws apply
different in each country, but also because a precise definition is
impossible in general.

So the best bet you can do is to say: ok, the authors specified their
intent explicitly, and I depend on that. Wether that works in court is a
different question that not even a lawyer can answer, but usually a court
does depend on statements of intent by the program authors.

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