[erlang-questions] linkedin driver licence question

Alceste Scalas <>
Wed Apr 2 10:30:07 CEST 2008

Il giorno lun, 31/03/2008 alle 14.27 -0700, Matthew Dempsky ha scritto:
> On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 9:29 AM, Danila Bagrov <> wrote:
> >  If I develope a linkedin driver which use a GPL library, I don't have
> >  to publish source of my programs which use this driver, correct? I
> >  will only have to publish source for the driver (because Erlang
> >  already is open source)?

Since your program will depend from the GNU GPL'ed library, it can be
considered a derived work, and thus will need to be released with a GNU
GPL-compatible license.

(If it was not the case, then lots of people and companies would have
developed thin software layers for linking GNU GPL'ed libraries without
complying with the license).

> You should be aware that the Erlang Public License is incompatible
> with the GPL.  You'll have legal trouble if your linked-in driver is
> considered a derivative work of both the Erlang runtime and that GPL
> library.  See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLPluginsInNF
> for some more information.

You may also be interested in
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#IfInterpreterIsGPL --- it does
confirm that your program will need to be released under the terms of a
GNU GPL-compatible license.

Regarding the legal status of the linked-in driver itself, the question
is: does the Erlang/OTP license impose any restriction on the licensing
terms of linked-in drivers?

If it does not, then nothing prevents you from developing a linked-in
driver for GNU GPL'ed libraries --- as long as the linked-in driver
license is GNU GPL-compatible.  The software that depends/derives from
that library/driver will also need to be released under a GNU
GPL-compatible license.

> It would be better to ask an actual lawyer.  You can also try emailing
> the FSF or SFLC.

I agree.  If you do, please let us know their feedback!


Alceste Scalas <>
CRS4 - http://www.crs4.it/

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