Fluendo MP3 GStreamer Plugin in Main for Dapper?

Nathan Willis listbot at glyphography.com
Mon Jan 2 17:09:13 GMT 2006

On 1/2/06, Aigars Mahinovs <aigarius at debian.org> wrote:
> ... however the binary is only distributed
> under a non-free licence that does not allow redistribution or
> modification. ...

So there are two (unrelated) issues then.  (1) The binary license does not
allow redistribution or modification, and (2) The GPL/LGPL/binary link issue
under section 7.

> So, if you try to use the binary non-free plugin, Rythmbox combines
> with Gstreamer in a memory of the computer forming a GPL derrivative
> work and then there is an open question whether the user can link a
> non-free plugin into that GPL work. Basically it is the question
> whether a LGPL glue library can protect a non-free program from GPL
> "contamination". I do not think so - that would have been a huge legal
> backdoor around GPL copyleft protection.

I agree that that is the question.  But I don't see how it is a backdoor for
behavior that would violate the spirit of the GPL regarding the GPLed
program.  Shipping Rhythmbox, Gstreamer, and Fluendo-MP3, that is.

The only potentially problematic scenario I can see would be the reverse: a
NonFreePlayer, LGPL glue, and a GPLedPlugin.  In that case, it could be
argued that the LGPL glue permits NonFreePlayer to effectively function as a
derivative work of GPLedPlugin while remaining non-free.  But even then,
it's pretty order-dependant.  GPLedPlugin does not function on its own;
NonFreePlayer is built on top of it.  This is the opposite.  This is "can
you build a GPLed program as a derivative of a non-free component" by
passing messages through a wall?

It sounds like if you can build an application that way, you have kept your
hands clean.  How are the intent or the effects different from a GPLed app
talking to a non-free app over a network socket?  That's allowed.

I can only say that I agree to what has been written in this blog:
> http://thomas.apestaart.org/log/index.php?p=333
> IANAL, but I can't seam to find any objections to that.

 Well, those statements are fine and all, but they're not legally binding.
If you're convinced by them, okay, but I will not be satisfied until I see

Are there no precedents for this scenario?  None?  It doesn't seem like it
should be that exotic.

nwillis at glyphography.com
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