Tom Swartz tom at
Tue Apr 16 11:50:36 UTC 2019

Not a lawyer, caveats abound, and all that, but;

Excerpt from GPL's licence FAQ:

*The program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function calls to
each other and share data structures, we believe they form a single
program, which must be treated as an extension of both the main program and
the plug-ins. This means that combination of the GPL-covered plug-in with
the non-free main program would violate the GPL.*

So, it sounds like either way you're likely to need to release under GPL or
find a different library.

On Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 07:36 Richard Frye <richard at> wrote:

> I want to write a program that is for sale without releasing all of the
> source code. Some of it is fine but parts are proprietary. Does it matter
> if I dynamically link the rtlsdr library?
> -Richard
> On Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:45 PM Greg Troxel <gdt at> wrote:
>> Richard Frye <richard at> writes:
>> > If I write software that uses the rtlsdr library that is already
>> installed
>> > on the computer, does my software also have to be opensource?
>> rtl-sdr and osmo-sdr both appear to be GNU GPLv2.
>> The standard interpretation is that if you create a derived work by
>> writing a program that uses those libraries, then distributing that
>> derived work requires permission from the copyright holders of the used
>> libraries.  And, that permission is only available if you license your
>> work under the same license, GPLv2.  That is the point of the license.
>> If you want to write software and not distribute it at all, that's
>> another matter, and the standard interpetation is that this is ok.
>> What are you trying to write, and what are you thinking about for
>> licensing, other than GPLv2?
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