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Re: GPL and statically linking with non-GPL standard C library

From: Byron A Jeff
Subject: Re: GPL and statically linking with non-GPL standard C library
Date: 26 May 2004 12:35:04 -0400

In article <>,
Alexander R. Pruss <> wrote:

I'm not a lawyer. I repeat IANAL.

-I'd like to distribute GPL code compiled with Borland's C compiler,
-and statically linked with Borland's C library.  Is this permitted? 


-The question comes down to the GPL exception: "However, as a special
-exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that
-is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the
-major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system
-on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies
-the executable."

Clear as crystal.

-However, it seems to me the Borland C compiler and its standard
-libraries are not a major component of the Windows operating system. 

Correct. That's why it's clear as crystal.

-They're not, after all, made by the same people who made the operating
-system.  So it seems that distributing binaries of GPL code statically
-linked against a standard C library that is not itself distributed
-under a GPL-compatible license is not allowed (and so I must go with
-mingw32 or something like that).


-Would it make a difference if I used the newly released free Microsoft
-C compiler and its libs?  

Nope. Not a part of the standard distribution of Windows and certainly isn't
a GPL compatible license.

-It would be easier to make a case that it's a part of the OS, no?


-Is my reading right?  The GPL FAQ doesn't help very much here.

You have it nailed. Simply use mingw and have the compiler accompany the
system and be done with it.


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