[erlang-questions] linked-in driver licence question

David-Sarah Hopwood <>
Fri Apr 4 02:13:04 CEST 2008


Matthew Dempsky wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 9:29 AM, Danila Bagrov <> wrote:
>> Hello list,
>>  If I develope a linked-in 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)?
> 
> 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.

One option is to try to get explicit approval from the developers of the GPL
library for it to be linked with Erlang/OTP.

Arguably, as a language implementation Erlang/OTP is playing a similar role
to a "system library", even though it may not satisfy the letter of the
definition, as described at
<http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs>. (I find
the GPL to be quite {C,C++}-centric in its assumptions; that's one of the
reasons why I don't use it for open-source code that I write.)

Incidentally, are you sure that it is a GPL library? The LGPL is more
commonly used for libraries, precisely because of this kind of license
incompatibility.

-- 
David-Sarah Hopwood



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