[Mono-dev] Off topic: Reflection and Licensing question

Michael B. Trausch mbt at zest.trausch.us
Wed Apr 29 17:26:42 EDT 2009

On Wed, 29 Apr 2009 17:15:21 -0400
Miguel de Icaza <miguel at novell.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> > The idea of reflection in a system makes difficult to determine
> > where the fine line is.  That said, my _personal_ belief is that
> > using reflection does not constitute linking.  Here is my
> > justification for that belief:
> This is an incorrect believe.
> If you are running on the same address space, the author of the code
> would have to explicitly do that by opting into using the GNU LGPL,
> from the GPL text:
>         This General Public License does not permit incorporating your
>         program into proprietary programs.  If your program is a
>         subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit
>         linking proprietary applications with the library.  If this is
>         what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public
> License instead of this License.
> How the actual linking is done (static linker, dynamic linker or
> runtime linking with dlopen/dlsym) do not matter.   The result is the
> incorporation of the GPL code in the proprietary code, and that code
> must be GPL compatible.

It would appear that by that argument, I can force any proprietary
software to be GPL'd simply by writing a GPL'd module or plugin for it
that it opens with dlopen().  That doesn't seem correct to me; if
that's the case, nobody would provide plugin interfaces.  Certainly a
plugin can be free software while the software it plugs into does not
need to be.

	--- Mike

I do not fear computers, I fear the lack of them.
                            --- Isaac Asimov
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