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Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPL licenced Java application using non GPL jars (libraries)
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 10:22:38 +0200

John Hasler wrote:
> Ben writes:
> > Does this additional exception clause violate the GPL in any way?
> The GPL is not a law.  It a model license.  When you distribute software
> under it you are stating terms which just happen to be identical to those
> used by Richard Stallman for Emacs.  The terms are yours, and you can
> amend them as you see fit.

Yeah. (quoting the GNU copyleft FAQ.)

"You can use the GPL terms (possibly modified) in another license 
 provided that you call your license by another name and do not include 
 the GPL preamble, and provided you modify the instructions-for-use at 
 the end enough to make it clearly different in wording and not mention 
 GNU (though the actual procedure you describe may be similar).


 Although we will not raise legal objections to your making a modified 
 license in this way, we hope you will think twice and not do it. Such a 
 modified license is almost certainly incompatible with the GNU GPL, and 
 that incompatibility blocks useful combinations of modules."

Bzzt. (Useful or not, combinations of modules are not "modified works" 
[derivative works] under GPL 2b; they are compilations, aka "mere 
aggregations" in GNU speak.)

But okay...

> > How can it be compatible with the GPL if the clause states that they can
> > link some non-GPL jars, yet the GPL states all the linked in libraries
> The exception amends the GPL, overriding anything in the GPL that it
> conflicts with.  Again, the GPL is not a law.  It is just a model license.

and yet when it comes to the GPL linking "exception" which modifies 
purported GPL terms (in FSF's interpretation):

"When other people modify the program, they do not have to make the same 
 exception for their code--it is their choice whether to do so."

Very interesting. GNU logic.


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