No - you got it backwards!
Posted Oct 4, 2008 7:00 UTC (Sat) by khim
In reply to: LGPL was never at risk
Parent article: Plugging into GCC
If you distribute the library AND the program - you need permissions from authors of both library and program. Very clear-cut case. Nothing is murky here. That's where GPL and LGPL are playing.
But. If you want to do what you are describing (distribute the program without library and/or make installer download the library from third-party web site)... be ready to pay lawers and/or the court: the story starts to get murky and minor details can decide an outcome (see the next comment from jordanb for real-world case). For example if program can use both libedit and readline or "go without" (in which case there will be no high-level editing capabilities in your program) court can conclude that it's not a derived work of readline, but if it's unusable without readline the outcome can be different. Law is squishy as PJ likes to repeat: court looks not only on the letter of the law but on the spirit too and they try to decipher intentions of both law and authors so the end result can be uncertain. That's why nVidia drivers are probably clear: the same binary can be used in Windows so they are not related to Linux in any way and glue code is completely free so can not infringe anything by definition.
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