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

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: GPL and statically linking with non-GPL standard C library
Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 20:48:21 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.4 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <x54qq2wvun.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 

> Barry Margolin <> writes:
> > In article <x5zn7ux2ig.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > If yes, then distributing Emacs binaries compiled with mingcc is
> > > illegal, as long as you don't distribute the compiler and
> > > everything it links with in source as well.
> > 
> > That sounds like a GPL violation to me.  I guess whoever did that is
> > lucky that the FSF didn't choose to make a stink about it.
> Reality check?  The FSF is distributing mingcc-compiled binaries
> themselves from the FSF servers.

Hmm.  I wonder if they'd just gotten conditioned to assume that standard 
C libraries are normally included with the OS, and treat it that way 
even for stuff destined for Windows.

But who owns the copyright to those programs?  Doesn't the FSF require 
that the copyright be assigned to them before they'll distribute the 
code themselves?  If so, this isn't an issue -- the GPL doesn't apply to 
the licensor, it applies to the licensee.

Also, does the code really *require* the mingcc libraries?  Or will it 
link with any Windows C library?  If the end user can rebuild it with 
whatever C development system he has, the spirit of the GPL is not 

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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