GPGMail and the GPL?

Werner Koch wk at
Wed May 18 11:48:26 CEST 2005

On Wed, 18 May 2005 08:54:28 +0200, Stéphane Corthésy said:

> wanted to link to the libs dynamically, but encountered some problems
> at link stage and finally statically linked the lib to my bundle,
> without realizing that it was illegal.

That is not illegal.  You merely need to provide a way to the user to
link it against a modified gpgme.  This can be done by linking the
non-free stuff into a relocatable object (ld's option -r) so that it
may later be linked with a modified gpgme to bukld the final thing.
Dynamic shared objects are of course much easier to handle.

> I will fix problem by the end of the week (it's been fixed in my work
> area) and I'm really sorry about that.


> that version I didn't link GPGMail to any of these libs, nor
> statically neither dynamically, and was using them in a GPL'd tool
> called GPGMEProxyServer which was a standalone GPL'd executable.

Just for the records: The GPL does not say what makes up a derivative
work.  The impression that the process boundary (i.e. a separate
executable) is a decision criteria for whether something is a
derivative work or a mere aggregation is not correct.  In particular,
writing a proxy for the sole purpose of working around the terms of
the GPL is not an option.

> Once again I'm sorry about that and didn't intend to make any
> harm. Now let's face the consequences.

Anyway, now that GPGME is available under the LGPL, g10 Code GmbH
won't care anymore about past violations of the GPL by your software



g10 Code GmbH      AmtsGer. Wuppertal HRB 14459
Hüttenstr. 61                               Geschäftsführung Werner Koch
D-40699 Erkrath  -=- The GnuPG Experts -=-  USt-Id DE215605608
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