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Re: GPLv2 licensing issues

From: Hubert Chathi
Subject: Re: GPLv2 licensing issues
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 18:26:46 -0400

On Fri, 11 Apr 2008 00:01:54 +0200 (CEST) "Nicola Pero"
<address@hidden> wrote:

> From
> > I'm writing a Windows application with Microsoft Visual C++ (or
> > Visual Basic) and I will be releasing it under the GPL. Is
> > dynamically linking my program with the Visual C++ (or Visual
> > Basic) run-time library permitted under the GPL?
> >
> >    The GPL permits this because that run-time library normally
> > accompanies the compiler or interpreter you are using. The run-time
> > libraries here are “System Libraries” as GPLv3 defines them, and as
> > such they are not considered part of the Corresponding Source.
> > GPLv2 has a similar exception in section 3.
> It seems that GNUstep core falls exactly under the same exceptions;
> libobjc, gnustep-base and gnustep-gui are the run-time "system
> libraries" for Objective-C on a GNU system.

That's true, except that:
- libobjc, gnustep-base, gnustep-gui, etc. are not always "system
  libraries" (the GPLv2 uses different terminology, and is less well
  defined), if it is distributed separately from the system.  So, for
  example, it would prevent someone from keeping a, say, Slackware
  repository of just the GNUstep libraries plus, say PopplerKit.
- the GPLv2's version of that clause is a bit fuzzy, because it has a
  funny clause that says that the clause doesn't apply if "that
  component itself accompanies the executable".  That is, the most
  straightforward interpretation of that means that, even if that
  clause applied, you could not distribute the GNUstep libraries
  *together with*, say, EdenMath.  You could distribute them
  separately, but not together in, say, a LiveCD.  Or Debian.

Hubert Chathi - Email/Jabber: address@hidden -
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