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Re: GNU Compiler & GNU License

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: GNU Compiler & GNU License
Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 07:27:59 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.99 (gnu/linux)

Byron Jeff writes:
> No. The libraries are LGPL which is specifically designed so that non
> free programs can use them without specification of copyright.

Don't confuse the runtime libraries which are linked into every program
compiled with Gcc with libc and similar.  The runtime libraries are GPL
with special exceptions.  Here is an example:

   As a special exception, you may use this file as part of a free software
   library without restriction.  Specifically, if other files instantiate
   templates or use macros or inline functions from this file, or you compile
   this file and link it with other files to produce an executable, this
   file does not by itself cause the resulting executable to be covered by
   the GNU General Public License.  This exception does not however
   invalidate any other reasons why the executable file might be covered by
   the GNU General Public License.

Thus you are free to compile your closed source program with Gcc and
distribute it however you wish.

> However, the production of embedded firmware can be problematic.

You just have to chooes libraries carefully or write all the code
yourself.  Gcc and its runtimes are not a problem.
John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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