[vlc-devel] Re: GPL issues ( was: Re: How can add a new codec module to VLC?)

Gildas Bazin gbazin at altern.org
Fri May 21 10:44:35 CEST 2004

On Friday 21 May 2004 04:15, Matthew Romaine wrote:
> Derk-Jan
> Thanks for sharing the below - I wish I could've been there :)
> Gibalou's question caught my attention, and the responses surprised me:
>   14:40 < gibalou> considering that only distribution is regulated by 
> the GPL, can you actually have code that depends on a proprietary 
> library as long as you don't distribute this library with the program ?
> 14:40 < thedj> yes
> 14:40 < sam> yes
> How important is the ending phrase "...with the program"?  I would have 
> thought it to be unnecessary, otherwise someone might interpret the 
> above to mean it was okay to write a demuxer and decoder wrapper (much 
> like for faad) which would be distributed with the program, and then 
> require users to go somewhere else to download a library.  In other 
> words, the above exchange might lead one to believe it was okay if 
> library B was not distributed literally "with the program" A, but was 
> still available somewhere else (albeit without source....)

Except that providing instructions on how and where to download the said 
proprietary library would IMHO be forbidden because it would be considered 
a distribution method.

As was said in the discussion, you have to consider the intent of the author 
when they put their software under a GPL license. They basically do that 
because they want their code and any improvements made to it to stay 
"libre". If you want to use their code, it is only fair that you respect 
this will.


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