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Re: [LMAO] El Reg: "GPLv2 - copyright code or contract?"


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: [LMAO] El Reg: "GPLv2 - copyright code or contract?"
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:00:50 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Tim Smith <address@hidden> writes:

> In article <address@hidden>, David Kastrup <address@hidden> 
> wrote:
>
>> Hadron <address@hidden> writes:
>> 
>> > David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
>> >
>> >> That has nothing whatsoever to do with "loopholes" or "complexity" in
>> >> the GPL.  It has to do with non-free software.
>> >>
>> >> The FSF stuck to its principles, and the makers of Qt decided to release
>> >> it under a free license after all.
>> >>
>> >> Where is your problem with that?
>> >
>> > he didn't say he had a problem. He said its not as clear cut as you
>> > make it out.
>> 
>> He only says that to annoy, because he knows it teases.
>
> No, I say it because the license is not as clear cut as you think it
> is.  For most users of KDE, Qt was shipped as a component of the
> OS. It should qualify for the system component exception of GPL. The
> FSF thought that it didn't.

Oh get real.  On Windows, Qt had to be separately licensed for money.
Certainly not shipped as "component of the OS".  On all Linux systems I
used, it was optional (and if some utility caused it to be installed, I
removed that) and not part of the installed base.  There was basically
no KDE developer who would (or could) have worked with the development
libraries provided by his system -- not suitable for ongoing
development.  Debian refused to carry Qt for a long time because of its
unfree license.  Most other providers with a freely redistributable
Linux system had to do the same (unless they made special deals).

The situation was quite clear in spite of the KDE developer's denial.
Qt went DFSG free only about a year before they decided that they might
as well GPL the stuff and get it over with.

> Can you point out where the GPLv2 clearly defines what exactly
> qualifies for the system component exception?

Huh?  Section 3 is quite clear on that:

    However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need
    not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source
    or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so
    on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless
    that component itself accompanies the executable.

-- 
David Kastrup


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