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

From: Per Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: GPL and statically linking with non-GPL standard C library
Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 19:23:42 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110002 (No Gnus v0.2) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux) (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? 

Yes, by the FSF.  Don't know whether it is permitted by the law.

> 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."

The FSF usually interpret this as "a compiler is normally distributed
with an OS.  Therefore you don't need to include anything that is part
of the compiler."  It is surprising in modern context, where compilers
are usually not distributed with the OS.  But not in the context where
the GPL was created, where compilers were normally distributed with
the OS.  The word "normally" is the key, it means the exceptions also
covers the abnormal cases where the compiler is not distributed as
part of an os.

> (and so I must go with mingw32 or something like that).

I'd go with mingw32 anyway.  My life became much easier once I
discovered my Debian box contains a mingw32 cross-compiler.

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