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Re: Reading NI TDMS files

From: Sergei Steshenko
Subject: Re: Reading NI TDMS files
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 11:28:59 -0800 (PST)

--- "John W. Eaton" <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 19-Dec-2007, Sergei Steshenko wrote:
> | --- "John W. Eaton" <address@hidden> wrote:
> |
> | > Given the statement about proprietary drivers for the Linux kernel, I
> | > thought you were referring to distributing GPL and GPL-incompatible
> | > code separately, and having the user link them together.  That is what
> | > I thought you were getting at when you wrote
> | > 
> | >   Basically, you can do whatever you want with GPL code as long as you
> | >   do _not_ (re)distribute the resulting binary.
> | > 
> | > I.e., I thought you were trying to say it is OK to distribute
> | > interface code that ultimately links Octave to some code that has
> | > GPL-incompatible licenses, as long as the two parts are not
> | > distributed together as a single binary.  My interpretation is that it
> | > is not OK, because the end result is the same, and such a distribution
> | > would just be using a convoluted method to achieve the same end result.
> | 
> | That's what I meant.
> | 
> | And the answer to the FAQ I gave explicitly allows it - an organization is
> | allowed to make a proprietary derivative as long as it doesn't distribute 
> it.
> | 
> | And I do not agree with your "result is the same".
> OK, I think you are misunderstanding my statement above.  I'm talking
> about a case where distribution does happen.  Whether the parts are
> distributed together or separately, the result is the same (they are
> distributed, and linked together, so the GPL does not permit it).
> But I think I see what the misunderstanding may be.  It seems that you
> are thinking of the case of the METIS library, and whether it is OK
> for you to link that with your copy of Octave in the privacy of your
> own organization.  I'm thinking of a case where someone writes a
> plug-in for Octave, specifically with the intent of linking to a
> proprietary module, that they would not be allowed to distribute if it
> were all (Octave, the plug-in, and the proprietary code) linked
> together, but they try to get around this by distributing them
> separately and expecting that the user link them together in the end.

Yes, the user will link them together in the privacy of his/her home/office
- exactly the same way I'm linking 'octave' with METIS in the privacy of my

Furthermore, think of the following sequence/combination:

GPL ('octave') <-> LGPL (to be written interface module) <-> proprietary module
- every linking between adjacent elements of a pair above is permitted;

(GPL ('octave') <-> LGPL (to be written interface module)) can even be 
distributed in
binary form (along with source code, of course).

Proprietary module, if it's a DLL, can be linked at runtime in the privacy of 
user's home/office.


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