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Re: GPL and nib files

From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: GPL and nib files
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 11:02:02 +0000 (GMT)

> > On a related note, are nib files considered code or data?  I am making
> > an application that runs on GNUStep and Cocoa.  The code for this
> > application is GPL (because I am using someone else GPL code for part
> > of the functionality).  I would like to restrict distribution of the
> > nib files (which were created by myself only).  I am wondering if this
> > would  violate the requirement for distributing "complete source code."
> >
> I would consider it data, but I think that's irrelevant. What you 
> probably want to pay attention to is section 2, which describes what 
> constitutes a 'work' (i.e. everything you distribute with the program). 
>   In that case you would be violating the GPL. I think the only way to 
> avoid that is to distribute the nib files separately.

I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect there is no real way to avoid this.  In my
understanding the nib files are essential for the program to be useful, so
they are really part of the program and can't be distributed separately
under a different license without violating the GPL.

The GPL *is* very restrictive; if you are trying to copy someone else's
GPL code for part of your program you have to accept that this someone
else was really serious about his code and work being free and only being
used in free software.

LGPL software (like the GNUstep libraries) is essentially different, as
the author explicitly wanted you to be able to link to them in proprietary

If the nibs have to be distributed as proprietary, probably a different
codebase or organization of the rest of the program has to be used to make
sure you are complying with the licenses; you might have to rewrite all
the GPL code from scratch, or maybe you can find a LGPL library (against
which you can link) which does the same of the GPL code you are trying to
copy into your program.

Else, well, what about if you make it all free/GPL ? :-)

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