"Here is an e-mail I fired off to the leader of MaPlay 1.2+ for Win32, an MP3 player for Windows asking his opinion.
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 17:53:27 +1000 (GMT+1000)
From: Trent Waddington
Subject: MAPlay & Licenses
Hello. I have been looking at MaPlay 1.2+ for Win32 and have been
very impressed with it. I have taken the base code and added a simple
API to it (and removed playlists and such) and recompiled it as a
DLL. Now the question becomes one of LGPL vs GPL.. If I use the DLL in
a program to play MP3 files, am I then required to release the source
of that program under the GPL? Obviously if I wrote a trivial WinAmp
like MP3 player frontend and used the DLL as the backend I would
personally expect that to be released GPL. However, let's suppose
that I write a game and instead of using a bunch of enormous WAV
files, I MP3 compress them and use the MaPlay DLL to play them. This
to me sounds like a case for LGPL, but the DLL is a "derived work" of
a GPL'd program and, as such, cannot be released under anything less
liberating than it.. is LGPL *less* liberated than GPL or *more*?
I don't think using MaPlay code to play MP3 files instead of WAV files
justifies that an entire game's source tree must be GPL'd. Obviously
it should be for Open Source reasons but is the enforcement of GPL
I would personally be interested in knowing how the programmers of
MaPlay would feel if the MaPlay source was (hypothetically) used in a
game that was closed source. Assuming there was something in the
about box / ending credits saying that the game used the MaPlay source
and that the source (to the player code) was available at the MaPlay
web site. Would you feel ripped off?"
Can anyone unravel the LGPL and GPL issues inherent here to help him out?