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RE: GPL and MS DirectX DirectDraw

From: PrussianSnow
Subject: RE: GPL and MS DirectX DirectDraw
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 04:21:13 +0100

Thanks to Paul Jarc for his off list reply. I've found out some more myself as 
well. I'll post a reply for the newsgroup archivers.

For anyone else scratching their head about this, I found some interesting 
comments in the FSF's GPL FAQ. Specifically:

The FSF seems to read the component clause to include dynamically linked 
runtime libraries belonging to proprietary languages. I hadn't seen this put 
down so clearly before by anyone let alone the FSF.

Now, I can put in an exception to specifically allow linking but then I can 
never add any GPL licensed code unless I get the copyright holder(s) to agree 
and endorse the disclaimer as well.


>-----Original Message-----
>[]On Behalf
>Of PrussianSnow
>Sent: June 22, 2004 4:03 AM
>Subject: GPL and MS DirectX DirectDraw
>Hi all,
>I am currently developing a library which I intend to release 
>under the GNU GPL. (Yes, the GPL, not the LGPL... for my own 
>little neurotic reasons.)
>However, I would like to make a version of this library which is 
>capable of running under MS Windows to facilitate porting of 
>application using the library onto this platform. However, the 
>only way I have found to obtain acceptable graphics performance is 
>to use the DirectDraw portion of the MS DirectX system in order to 
>bypass the Windows graphics subsystem. (It's working so that's not 
>the issue...)
>The problem I am having is in clarifying the licensing issues 
>raised by combining GPL software with MS DirectX.
>Obviously I don't have the code for DirectX but it looks like 
>DirectX would easily fall under the standard OS component 
>exception in the GPL. All versions of Windows starting somewhere 
>around Windows 95 have shipped with some version of DirectX so 
>this is a strong argument in my opinion.
>HOWEVER, in order to use DirectX I need to use an include file for 
>DirectDraw. Microsoft makes the required file, DDRAW.H, available 
>for download in their DirectX SDK so I can just point users at 
>this is they want to re-compile but then I'm not really including 
>all the source am I? Also, there is no saying if Microsoft will 
>pull this file off their servers or charge for it next week or 
>next year, or some other scenario; so where do I stand? (PS The 
>standard include file works without modification under MingW so I 
>don't have to worry about distributing a modified file--I just 
>need to justify not including the copyrighted file.)
>The executable raises some other questions. I guess I can't 
>statically link to a DirectX library so I have to at least link at 
>runtime to a DirectX DLL, what are the implications of this? (I 
>don't want to write a wrapper for DirectDraw, place it in the 
>public domain and then link to that... although this is an 
>interesting hypothetical situation for comparison.)
>I'm sure there are other GPL apps (or ports thereof) out there 
>that have run into this particular scenario as DirectX is used 
>extensively under Windows. Anyone have any good suggestions 
>regarding where I can find some more information?
>Gnu-misc-discuss mailing list

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