A GIMP plug-in is a completely different process space than the GIMP core. Information is passed via a wire protocol which is implemented at both ends using LGPL code. I don't see how this is different from viewing the GIMP as a server, and the plug-in as a client. Or alternatively, the PDB as a broker and both the plug-ins and the rest of the core as clients.
We specifically moved libgimp from GPL to LGPL to allow for the possibility of proprietary plugins. Spencer and Peter affirmatively agreed to that change when it was made. That was either late in the 0.99 cycle or early in the 1.0 cycle, although I forget which. Yosh should remember.
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