GPL Violation

Ethan Blanton elb at
Mon Sep 28 13:56:42 EDT 2009

Jeff Sadowski spake unto us the following wisdom:
> So its a structuring problem?
> If they moved their proprietary code to a dll and made calls to it and
> distributed a binary dll and open sourced the plugin that made calls
> to the proprietary dll then it would be alright? Just curious?

No, because the GPL is transitive in this respect.  Linking to a
plugin which links to a GPL-incompatible plugin is also GPL

These issues are well hashed out on the Internet in various fora, and
there is not complete agreement on where all boundaries lie.  I
suggest that you look into previous FSF and Debian threads on this
matter, in particular.  The Pidgin mailing lists aren't really a place
for license lawyering.

In this specific case, the MeBeam plugin is directly loaded by Pidgin,
and therefore must necessarily be GPL-compatible, and it does not
appear that it is.


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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