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Re: Microsoft's Linux Kernel Code Drop Result of GPL Violation

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Microsoft's Linux Kernel Code Drop Result of GPL Violation
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 14:56:21 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090605)

Florian Weimer wrote:
Apparently, it is unclear that linking GPLed code with proprietary
code results in a GPL violation---if the combination is not used to
restrict use of the combined work (i.e., you still can run and copy it

I think it's clear if static linking is involved, but others
may disagree (especially here :-)

I haven't checked recently, but I think Microsoft still does
this with its GCC distribution in Windows Services For UNIX: GCC is
linked against a proprietary libc, and this libc accompanies the
executable (so the system library exception cannot be used).

What do you mean? What does accompanying the executable have
to do with the system library exception? I don't think you
understand the system library exception correctly. It allows
GPLed programs to be linked against non-free libraries which
are part of an operating system or major component thereof.
So you can link with non-free libc libraries, Apple GUIs,
and so forth - things necessary for a program to be able to
run on such a system. It's a compromise to the free software
paradigm, trading some freedom for the ability to work on
non-free platforms.

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