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Re: GPL traitor !

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 11:50:39 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
> Erik Funkenbusch wrote:
>> Or maybe it's the FSF that doesn't understand it.

> It's the latter. The FSF (probably deliberately) tells an untruth ...

You're not pulling punches here, are you?

> ... when it claims that the GPL applies to a dynamically linked
> program or to separately distributed plugins. They would clearly like
> it to apply, but it does not.

Take a concrete example: suppose you extend the GCC ("GNU compiler
connection") in one of these ways:
(i) You arrange for an email to be sent to a specific person if a
  compilation fails.
(ii) You write a code generator for a new microprocessor.

In (i), you'd do this by calling some email library.  This library is
something complete separate from the GCC, and its license is of no
concern to GCC's copyright holders.

In (ii), the new code generator is an extension of GCC, using its data
structures, conventions etc.  This new code, if it is released, must be
released under the GPL.  Just how it's slotted into the existing GCC is

Between these two clear cases, there will be a grey area of uncertainty.
Life isn't simple, and the GPL can't help there.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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