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Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?

From: Rahul Dhesi
Subject: Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 20:26:34 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: nn/6.7.0

Hyman Rosen <> writes:

>Let's review. Someone creates a library and distributes it under
>the GPL. Let's call it libGNU, and suppose that it exists in DLL
>form. I create a program that dynamically links to libGNU and
>uses its services. Let's call it HyProg. I assert that I may
>distribute copies of HyProg unaccompanied by libGNU under any
>terms I wish. The FSF asserts that HyProg must be distributed
>under the GPL. I do not believe that there is any legal basis
>for the FSF's claim. If you do, please explain.

I am not very familiar with the "DLL form". Wikipedia, without citing
references or sources, says this is Microsoft's implementation of shared
libraries.  I will assume you meant "shared library", since your
argument does not otherwise seem to be Microsoft-specific.

Is HyProg causing the shared library to be copied into memory, and was
HyProg written to require that specific shared library libGNU, and is
there no other way of using HyProg?  If so, then the author of HyProg
might be liable for contributory infringement. But if libGNU is just one
of many shared libraries that could be used, then the author of HyProg
is probably off the hook.

Also, the claim would come from the library's copyright owner, not the
FSF, unless the FSF was the copyright owner.

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