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Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 13:13:33 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

Rahul Dhesi wrote:

However, it does appear that the FSF believes that a program
written to interoperate with another program is somehow tied
sufficiently to that other program such that if the other is
GPLed then the whole program is bound by the GPL. For example,
here is part of a header comment that the FSF suggests putting
into files:

    Linking [name of your program] statically or dynamically
    with other modules is making a combined work based on
    [name of your program]. Thus, the terms and conditions of
    the GNU General Public License cover the whole combination.

On what basis is a program which links dynamically to a
library a combined work such that the program would be subject
to the GPL if the library is? When you copy or distribute the
program, you do not necessarily distribute the library - that
is part of the point of dynamic linking. It's an odd sort of
combined work which does not include the thing with which it
is alleged to be combined! Thus, I have seen arguments instead
that the program is a derivative work of the library. That's
why derivative works come up in the discussion.

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