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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: 06 Jul 2004 20:50:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Alexander Terekhov <address@hidden> writes:

> 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++.

Sure, but they didn't, and thus had to open the sources after the FSF
went after them.  And your point was?

> <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.

Which must be why NeXT bowed to the pressure.

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

What for?  Google for it if you want to.  Since facts don't get you
out of denial, where is the point in bothering to dig up more facts?

-- 
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum


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