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Re: Licensing question about the BSD

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Licensing question about the BSD
Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2005 09:13:36 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Isaac <> writes:

> On Fri, 05 Aug 2005 17:57:00 +0200, David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> Alexander Terekhov <> writes:
>>> Bruce Lewis wrote:
>>> [...]
>>>> GPL'ed code.  Your application's dependence on the GPLed code is very
>>>> likely to make it a derivative work.
>>> "Various claims made by the FSF, conflating engineering dependencies 
>>>  with copyright infringement, are not correct as a matter of law and 
>>>  do not form part of the agreement accepted by a licensee when 
>>>  exercising the license granted in the GPL. Therefore, 
>>>  notwithstanding the drafters' intentions, the GPL text as written 
>>>  does not compel the release of source code for independently 
>>>  authored software components that use (or are used by) GPL programs 
>>>  through any of the usual mechanisms employed elsewhere in the 
>>>  software industry. GPL "enforcement" actions that proceed on this 
>>>  basis, including those against NeXT and MCC which resulted in the
>>>  assignment to the FSF of copyright to the Objective C and C++ front
>>>  ends to GCC, operate under false pretenses."
>>>    -- Michael K. Edwards, Will the Real GNU GPL Please Stand Up?, 
>>>       unpublished draft 10th June 2005.
>> Too bad that the courts and the legal departments of companies like
> Which court decisions are in disagreement with Mr. Edward's position?


You'll find that all other violations reported on the first site were
resolved by the perpetrators agreeing to follow the rules of the GPL,
and that includes Fujitsu-Siemens, not exactly a company with a small
legal department.

Anyway, see <URL:> for more examples also of
ongoing cases.

There is actually a dearth of reported cases since almost all
perpetrators prefer to settle out of court.

Note that in particular the netfilter cases concern code in modules
that is linked into complete products: nevertheless they were able to
obtain injunctions and settlements for the complete products involved.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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