Lionel Elie Mamane
lionel at mamane.lu
Tue Sep 6 08:16:09 CEST 2005
On Tue, Sep 06, 2005 at 03:14:56PM +1200, Peter Gutmann wrote:
> Lionel Elie Mamane <lionel at mamane.lu> writes:
>>On Mon, Sep 05, 2005 at 10:14:41PM +0200, Alon Bar-Lev wrote:
>>> Since your GPLed program does not contain any other licensed code it is
>>> still GPLed...
>>> The same goes with GPLed licensed program that loads PKCS#11
>>Not unless that PKCS#11 module "is normally distributed with the major
>>components of the operating system". (Assuming here that the PKCS#11 module
>>would is a library that GnuPG would be dlopen.)
> PKCS #11 is a device driver without which it's impossible to use
> critical (to the application) hardware. If you take this
> interpretation then GPG already violates it because it ends up using
> all manner of components (RAID drivers, ATI/nVidia video drivers,
> PC/SC drivers, etc) that aren't distributed as part of the OS.
GnuPG doesn't *link* to RAID drivers or video drivers. They don't end
up "running linked together in a shared address space". They
communicate over syscalls or sockets; mechanisms that are well-known
as to be "GPL-safe" (as long as the coupling between them isn't too
On the other hand, some people interpret the GPL in a way saying that
if a library implements a "standard" ABI, then one can link GPL
software to it. <shrug> I think it is a good idea to stick to the
copyright holder's interpretation.
> In fact if you wanted to go reductio ad absurdum even kernel32.dll
> is excluded because the hotfixes that are constantly applied to it
> aren't "normally distributed with the system components" - they're a
> special download.
Do I have to answer that?
> On the other hand using a particular interpretation of the GPL in
> order to make it impossible for GPG to be able to support widespread
> smart cards and crypto hardware is a great example of cutting off
> your nose to spite your face.
That's a choice for the copyright holder to make.
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