The GPL license speaks of "derivative works". Debian has taken the position that deterministically linking against a library with LD_PRELOAD does not make your program a derivative work. This allows non-GPL code to link against GPL-d libraries and it goes against the traditional understanding of the difference between the GPL and LGPL, and the view point of the FSF.

You can read more about this here,

Does Debian publish their guidelines for GPL and LGPL use? Do they have a public position on linking against GPLed code being permissible? Or, permissible with LD_PRELOAD?

  • This is interesting and I may write more on this later. It may be of interest that code similar to GNU libreadline did exist since summer 1984. When the discussion on the intentionally restrictive license of GNU libreadline started, I offered to make my code available under a more permissive license. So we now have three implementations and it seems that even the hardliners changed their mind. – schily Jul 20 '18 at 17:36
  • 3
    Might be a better fit for Open Source SE. – Faheem Mitha Jul 20 '18 at 17:37
  • “Debian” doesn’t really have official opinions on this kind of topic. There are the Debian Free Software Guidlines, the page on licenses, the DFSG FAQ, but at the end of the day things are decided on a case-by-case basis by various people, most notably the FTP team who review all new software going into the archive and decide whether its licensing (both as declared and as really used) is appropriate for Debian. – Stephen Kitt Jul 20 '18 at 18:59
  • The problem with Debian is that the so called ftp team does not decide based on written reproducible rules. There are case where unforseeable decisions have been made in the past, even with the statement "we don't care about written rules but about our feelings". The current decision may be such a case. – schily Jul 21 '18 at 9:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.