GPL Violation

Yao Ko yaoyao at
Mon Sep 28 14:03:20 EDT 2009

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Ethan Blanton <elb at> wrote:

> 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
> incompatible.
> 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.

How about close-sourced UI that loads libpurple (eg. Meebo).  Is Pidgin GPL
or LGPL?


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