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Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 16:55:38 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.90 (gnu/linux)

Hyman Rosen <address@hidden> writes:

> On 2/2/2010 10:43 AM, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
>> GPL's "mere aggregation" clause gives
>> permision to combine programs through static linking
>
> It does not, no matter how often you insist otherwise.

In particular since there is no such clause.  There is a clarification
about the applicable scope of license, but that scope is determined by
copyright law, not the GPL.

To wit, we have

      A compilation of a covered work with other separate and
    independent works, which are not by their nature extensions of the
    covered work, and which are not combined with it such as to form a
    larger program, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution
    medium, is called an "aggregate" if the compilation and its
    resulting copyright are not used to limit the access or legal rights
    of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit.
    Inclusion of a covered work in an aggregate does not cause this
    License to apply to the other parts of the aggregate.

Even if one were of the opinion that this part is dictated by the GPL
rather than normal law, the condition "and which are not combined with
it such as to form a larger program" would be prohibitive for linking.
Linking dynamically as well, by the way.

If you think that copyright law gives you a free ride for stuff that
works only after linking, it is clear that you have to base your case on
something other than the GPL's wording: you will have to show yourself
that the GPL cannot cover the resulting combination, by virtue of your
local copyright laws.  The GPL certainly does not say that on its own.

-- 
David Kastrup


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