Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins

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To: Albert Graef <Dr.Graef@...>
Cc: LAD Developers <linux-audio-dev@...>
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 2:10 am

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 9:54 PM, Albert Graef wrote:

the FSF has consistently tried to blur the line between "dynamic
linking" and "run time linking" because they involve similar
mechanisms from an OS perspective. but i think, in fact, i ADAMANTLY
believe that run-time linking of an object module as a result of
explicit user action (i.e. not part of the predestined lifetime of the
process) is semantically distinct from dynamic linking. put another
way, if you cannot look at the executable and determine that it will
link a particular object module during its lifetime, it is very, very
hard for me to see how the plugin can be considered a derivative work
of the host (assuming the APIs are not host specific etc etc etc). if
the host will run and function normally whether or not the plugin is
present, its very hard to see how the host can be a derivative of the
plugin.

the FSF's position makes perfect sense to me when applied to dynamic
linking - that is, the set of relationships set up between the
executable file and software libraries during building the software,
but accomplished without copying object code into the executable file
as would happen during static linkage. however, it makes no sense, or
at best, is much too ambiguous and confusing, in the case of run-time
user-initiated linking of object modules.

> At least that's how I read the GPL FAQ. YMMV, but from what I've read in

The FSF seems to speak with more than one voice on this particular issue.

>No idea whether this would stand up in court. In any case, as a

I believe that the FSF has never written a version of the GPL that
really addresses this, which is why they need to say things like "We
believe ..." in the FAQ. 10 years ago, this was a hot topic for them,
and they've utterly failed to address it with any concrete changes to
the GPL. This may be their intent, but its certainly not mine, and its
not the intent of quite a few other people who develop under the GPL
either. The idea that because a particular host can load my plugin, my
plugin becomes a derivate work of that host is frankly just absurd.
Which license would a VST plugin fall under, given that it can be
loaded into Ardour, Cubase, Sonar or Samplitude? Which host is it a
derivative of? If I write a GPL'ed VST plugin (they do exist), at what
point does the run time linkage change the licensing of either the
plugin or a host that loads it?

> Otherwise a commercial vendor could just turn GPL'ed libraries into

The only way that "my view" of the GPL and plugins could permit this
would be for the commercial vendor to:

a) define an API that was independent of their "host" application
b) make the host support that API
c) port the libraries so that the only calls made by the host were
part of the API (i.e. the actual library API
could not be used)

and even if they did this, if their host was the only application that
used the API, the burden of guilt would fall heavily upon them in any
court (legal or public opinion).
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Messages in current thread:
[LAD] GPL and plugins, Victor Lazzarini, (Mon Jun 21, 11:11 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Nils Hammerfest, (Mon Jun 21, 1:44 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Paul Davis, (Mon Jun 21, 2:02 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Gabriel M. Beddingfield, (Mon Jun 21, 11:40 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Ralf Mardorf, (Mon Jun 21, 11:50 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Paul Davis, (Mon Jun 21, 11:34 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Victor Lazzarini, (Mon Jun 21, 6:20 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Albert Graef, (Tue Jun 22, 12:21 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Paul Davis, (Tue Jun 22, 12:28 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Albert Graef, (Tue Jun 22, 1:55 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Paul Davis, (Tue Jun 22, 2:10 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, drew Roberts, (Tue Jun 22, 1:48 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Chris Cannam, (Tue Jun 22, 8:24 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Victor Lazzarini, (Tue Jun 22, 8:22 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Chris Cannam, (Tue Jun 22, 8:32 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Luis Garrido, (Mon Jun 21, 7:47 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Victor Lazzarini, (Mon Jun 21, 8:16 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Paul Davis, (Mon Jun 21, 8:28 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Victor Lazzarini, (Mon Jun 21, 8:43 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Chris Cannam, (Mon Jun 21, 7:34 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Victor Lazzarini, (Mon Jun 21, 8:10 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Luis Garrido, (Tue Jun 22, 1:08 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Albert Graef, (Tue Jun 22, 2:02 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Chris Cannam, (Mon Jun 21, 8:31 pm)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Chris Cannam, (Mon Jun 21, 11:23 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Julien 'Lta' BALLET, (Mon Jun 21, 11:34 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Paul Davis, (Mon Jun 21, 11:44 am)
Re: [LAD] GPL and plugins, Julien Claassen, (Mon Jun 21, 11:20 am)