Re: [OT] Licence question

On Mon, 2003-04-28 at 06:43, Biswapesh Chattopadhyay wrote:
> Hi
> Sorry for the cross-post - I'm not sure which list can give me the right
> answer.
> I have a licence question: can I read the source code of a GPL-ed
> library to get implementation ideas while developing a competing LGPL-ed
> library (without actually using the source code, of course) ?
> Specifically, there is a QT scintilla wrapper
> ( and I'm
> planning to write a similar high level OO GTK+ wrapper around Scintilla
> for anjuta/anjuta2 (or extending the current GtkScintilla2 wrapper if
> that fits in).
> Thanks in advance.

It's a bit fuzzy - 

There is nothing theoretically wrong about reading the code, 
*as long as you don't copy anything copyrightable*

Proving that is the case can be pretty much impossible, so,
for commercial licensed code, you definitely don't want
to look at the sources. (For example, I have a policy of
never reading the Qt code.)

But if it's other open-source code, then it's probably OK 
to take bit more of relaxed attitude.

But what I'd suggest is simple: ask the author - if they say 
it's OK for you to use ideas from their code in a LGPL 
library, then you *know* it's OK. If they say it's not 
OK, then don't do it, even if it's legally OK. I doubt
there is enough of interest in a scintilla wrapper to
be worth a flamewar.


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