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Re: Using non-GPL libraries in a GPL program

From: Tim Smith
Subject: Re: Using non-GPL libraries in a GPL program
Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2008 20:34:01 -0700
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <8563sspssm.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
> > How come when RMS decides to wax forth legalistically, there never
> > seem to be either cases or statutes that back his position?
> Because the FSF is not a litigation company and so the GPL has been
> written not as a contract, but a license.  As a consequence, it does not

See, that's a perfect example.  A license is a kind of contract.  It's 
handled in court under contract law.  But in FSF-land, license has some 
kind of different meaning that doesn't correspond to the one used by 
lawyers and the courts.

Same with the concept of "distribution".  Whatever it is the FSF talks 
about when it talks about software distribution seems to have little 
connection to what the copyright law means when it uses that term.  
Remember when the FSF was claiming that giving someone code that can be 
linked with GPLed software is an implicit distribution of the GPLed 
software, even though it is up to the recipient to decide if they want 
to get and link with the GPLed software, or get and link with other, 
non-GPLed software?  But only if the GPLed and non-GPLed software have 
different interfaces?  If they have the same interface, then it is no 
longer an implicit distribution.

I invite you to find any statutory or case law support for that 
interesting theory.  You'll have a long search, 'cause there is none.

With Terekhov's claims, I can go read the cases and statues he cites, 
because he actually makes *legal* arguments.  The FSF and RMS make a lot 
of legal-sounding arguments that appear to actually be them stating what 
they wish the law to be, using terms somewhat similar to, not not always 
the same as, real legal terms.

--Tim Smith

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