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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPL and statically linking with non-GPL standard C library
Date: 26 May 2004 20:58:35 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Barry Margolin <> writes:

> In article <x5u0y3yt3x.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
> wrote:
> > (Byron A Jeff) writes:
> > 
> > > In article <x5n03v2vdi.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup  <> 
> > > wrote:
> > > (Alexander R. Pruss) writes:
> > > -
> > > -> I'd like to distribute GPL code compiled with Borland's C compiler,
> > > -> and statically linked with Borland's C library.  Is this permitted?
> > > -
> > > -According to what?  The GPL clearly tells you that you have to add the
> > > -source code of your stuff.
> > > 
> > > I think you missed the point. The OP wants to compile and statically link 
> > > GPL code with a proprietary compiler and library.
> > 
> > Which was the only way to get binaries for GPL programs at one time.
> > What point am I missing?
> They were typically distributed as source code, not pre-linked
> executables.

Come off it.  Of _course_ for example the GNU utilities for
DOS/Windows were distributed as binaries as well as source code.  And
as binaries that would need proprietary static libraries to link with
if you wanted to compile them, and proprietary compilers.

And I've developed with quite old Unix systems, and it was quite usual
to have runtime licences/systems which were just exorbitantly
expensive and intended to be used for the boxes installed at the
customer, and the development systems, which were bonecrushingly
expensive.  Since the hardware was still more expensive, this was not
that much of an issue: you would not have wanted to equip customer
systems with the amount of RAM necessary for a development system,

> And even when they were pre-linked, they were linked with libraries
> that are normally available with with the OS, so the exception
> applied.

Static libraries are not "available with the OS" without a
development system.

And the OP here is asking about a static library available with his
development system.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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