smileys again

Mark Doliner mark at
Tue Mar 23 03:02:35 EDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM, Vlad K. <vlad.kulik at> wrote:
> Hi everyone again.
> Sorry for disturbing you once again. Some days ago I've posted a question
> concerning Pidgin 2.0.2 smileys. Wheter can I use smiley images for blogs
> and boards on my web service. I've read the GPL and as I understood I'm free
> to use any part of software distributed under GPL, right? But according to
> GPL should I then provide the source code of my website scripts if I'm using
> smileys of GPL distributed software? Please, figure it out for me.
> Thank you in advance, Vlad.

Hi Vlad.  Short answer: You're free to use the images and you do not
need to provide the source code of your website scripts.  You might
need to state somewhere on your website that the images are covered
under the terms of the GPL?

Long answer:
The GPL was written with program source code in mind.  We also use it
to license our images, which isn't the most natural fit.  The GPL
requires that any library which is "linked" with our binary must also
be released under a license that is compatible with the GPL.  In this
case you can treat the images as both the "binary" and the "source."
The definition of linking is any other binary which is loaded into
memory alongside our binary such that the two binaries for a single
piece.  This doesn't really happen for images.  Certainly your website
scripts aren't merged with the images--that just doesn't make any


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