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Re: DLL and license

From: Jason Birch <jbirch(at)>
Date: Thu Jun 27 2002 - 23:55:23 GMT
On Thu, 27 Jun 2002 04:27:57 -0700 (PDT), Luke Ross
<> spoke:

> My interpretation of this is that a DLL is a seperate bit of software 
> effectively, communicating at 'arms length' (the DLL calls).  I'd say 
> you'd have to release the DLL under the GPL, and release the main 
> program under a differerent license, as long as everything relating to 
> Swish-E is solely in the DLL.

This part of the FAQ is in conflict with that interpretation:

"If a program released under the GPL uses plug-ins, what are the
requirements for the licenses of a plug-in?"

It depends on how the program invokes its plug-ins. If the program
uses fork and exec to invoke plug-ins, then the plug-ins are separate
programs, so the license for the main program makes no requirements
for them. 

If the program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function
calls to each other and share data structures, we believe they form a
single program, so plug-ins must be treated as extensions to the main
program. This means they must be released under the GPL or a
GPL-compatible free software license. 

If the program dynamically links plug-ins, but the communication
between them is limited to invoking the `main' function of the plug-in
with some options and waiting for it to return, that is a borderline

Received on Thu Jun 27 23:58:54 2002