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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs


From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 20:29:36 +0200

David Kastrup wrote:
[...]
> Which must be why they were able to force NeXT computers to open their
> Objective C compiler, 

You mean Objective-C front-end? They should have simply used plain 
old C and the GCC (or whatever) as back-end, like Comeau C++. Well,

http://tinyurl.com/2f96c 

<quote>

      * I am not distributing "one program", so GPL doesn't apply to me either.

The FSF position would be that this is still one program, which has
only been disguised as two.  The reason it is still one program is
that the one part clearly shows the intention for incorporation of the
other part.

I say this based on discussions I had with our lawyer long ago.  The
issue first arose when NeXT proposed to distribute a modified GCC in
two parts and let the user link them.  Jobs asked me whether this was
lawful.  It seemed to me at the time that it was, following reasoning
like what you are using; but since the result was very undesirable for
free software, I said I would have to ask the lawyer.

What the lawyer said surprised me; he said that judges would consider
such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very harsh toward
them.  He said a judge would ask whether it is "really" one program,
rather than how it is labeled.

So I went back to Jobs and said we believed his plan was not allowed
by the GPL.

</quote>

He and his lawyer (Moglen, I guess) would have been laughed out of 
court with such silly "subterfuge" and "one part clearly shows the 
intention for incorporation of the other part" arguments.

>                       Motorola to open their signal processor specific
> variant of gcc 

Details?

regards,
alexander.


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