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


From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: [LMAO] El Reg: "GPLv2 - copyright code or contract?"
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 22:32:51 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Tim Smith <address@hidden> wrote:
> 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 [GPL] is not as clear cut as you think
> it is. 

The license is perfectly clear.  It's reality which is foggy.

> 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.

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

No, it can't and it shouldn't.  Just as the laws against murder and rape are
perfectly clear, but there are borderline cases which might or might not
actually be murder or rape, there are borderline cases as to what exactly
counts as a "system component".  They can't be formulated exactly in the 
license, they must be determined as a matter of fact in each case.  Such
cases of doubt are fairly rare, though.

In the case of Qt, it seems the parties in dispute reached a satisfactory
resolution.

-- 
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).



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