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Re: OT: GPL and jar file

From: Andreas Rueckert
Subject: Re: OT: GPL and jar file
Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2002 10:33:19 +0200

Hi Per and and all!

Thanks a lot for your answer.

On Fre, 16 Aug 2002 Per Bothner wrote:


> This is a legal question, and I don't think anyone here can really
> answer it.
> My guess is that just placing the  classes in a jar doesn't "link" them,
> but loading both classes into the same JVM does.  However, this is
> like the old "user-does-the-link" ploy which (I believe) NeXT tried
> (for the Objective-C compiler).  The FSF sicced their lawyers on them
> and NeXT ended up Free'ing their Objective-C compiler.

That would mean it depends on the JVM? If you have a JVM, that loads all the
classes at once, B becomes GPLed, if the JVM loads the classes on demand, B
keeps it's license?

> A determining factor is likely to be to what extent B depends on A.
> If they are completely independent, it is probably ok ("mere
> aggregation"); but if B depends on A, I wouldn't try it.

Let be elaborate a bit further on my question. My problem is a Installer called
izPack ( ), that is under GPL. It creates a
single Jar with the installer classes (under GPL) and the app to be installed.
Julien Ponge (izPack author) says, you can install even closed source apps with
the tool, while I'm uncertain. If I start the installation with
'java -jar installer.jar' and the JVM loads all the classes in the jar, closed
source classes in the jar would become GPLed?
Sorry for the OT discussion, but the same problem would occur, if anyone would
include classpath code in a non-GPLed project, so I thought you might have an


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