GPL Violation

Ethan Blanton elb at
Thu Oct 1 09:41:03 EDT 2009

Jeff Sadowski spake unto us the following wisdom:
> > Other possibly relevant sections/posts/articles:
> >
> Sweet perfect this answers my question exactly and could be a way for
> them to re-release their plugin that would satisfy the gpl
> by making it a lib. Like I said earlier its a structuring issue.

No, that is NOT the case.  Pay attention.  Note that the specific
article you post requires *exceptions to the GPL*, for one.

A Pidgin plugin is intimately involved with Pidgin, and method calls
are made in both directions with some frequency during the lifetime of
the plugin usage.  Providing the Pidgin plugin interface for a complex
plugin without simply using Pidgin (or libpurple) would require
reimplementing a significant amount of software.  Therefore, a Pidgin
plugin is derived from Pidgin, and must be license-compatible with
Pidgin.  The GPL under which Pidgin/libpurple themselves are licensed
does *not* have any exceptions for closed-source libraries, so linking
with a GPL which does is incompatible.

You cannot circumvent the GPL with a little bit of indirection anad
some sleight-of-hand.  You might find the differences between the GPL
and the LGPL instructive for understanding this sort of thing.

Now, I'll say it one more time -- this list is not the place for
license lawyering.  If MeBeam wants to come talk to us about how to
resolve their license difficulties, that's fine, but random
speculation about how to most effectively circumvent the GPL is *not*


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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