Re: Rise of the Plugins

On Fri, 2007-06-01 at 18:21 +0800, Brian Cameron wrote:
> Many modules that have plugins use the same license for the plugins
> as for the application.  For example, rhythmbox and gedit plugins
> are under the same GPL license as the application.  I suspect not
> a lot of thought went into deciding what license to use for these
> plugins.  Does the GNOME community recommend that plugin libraries
> should be under GPL or LGPL or does it matter?
> If we are thinking about moving "common" plugin code to a shared
> library, do we expect this common library to be GPL or LGPL?  Since
> much plugin infrastructure seems to be copy and pasted around
> and is much existing code is currently under the more restrictive GPL
> license, it would be good to come up with some guidelines so that we d
> don't end up causing a licensing headache down the road.  Obviously
> GPL'ed code shouldn't be copied into LGPL libraries and vice versa, so
> this might make it hard to take existing code and move it into a LGPL
> common library. 

Copying GPL'd code into LGPL libraries can't be done, but vice versa is
fine since the LGPL states that the code may be used under GPL.

Licensing of applications that use plugins is another interesting point,
although in many cases it's probably too late to reconsider at this
point.  Plugins potentially put applications closer to the same category
that GNOME's libraries are in.  Does application Foo want to allow
plugins to be written for it without major restrictions?  Then the
application itself may need to be LGPL (or something) rather than GPL.

/ Cody

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