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GPL + Exception Clause vs The GPL FAQ

From: Regier Avery J
Subject: GPL + Exception Clause vs The GPL FAQ
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 15:34:29 -0500


I'm a long time lurker on this list and a member of the JOS project.  We're
having a licensing discussion going on right now, and at issue is the
following GPL FAQ entry by the FSF:

        In an object-oriented language such as Java, if I use a class that
is GPL'ed without modifying, and subclass it, in what way does the GPL
effect the larger program? 

        Subclassing is creating a derivative work. Therefore, the terms of
the GPL effect the whole program where you create a subclass of a GPL'ed

We in the JOS project have a general concensus that this is evil.  Is it the
opinion of the Classpath project that:
1) the GPL + the Classpath Exception Clause make the above FAQ entry
incorrect for Classpath?
2) Does the fact that Classpath seeks to implement an existing specification
in any way mitigate this?
3) how does the exception clause affact JVM's using classpath in this
4) What known licenses are 'compatible' with Classpath?  Must we use a GPL
or LGPL or GPL + exception for our project in order to make use of
5) is dual licensing an option?

I don't intend to embroil the Classpath project in another long licensing
dispute, thus slowing the progress of the project.  I simply need a few
quick answers to the above questions to help inform our discussions.

Avery J. Regier

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