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README.woe32, GPL, and the Win32 binaries

From: Kenneth J. Davis
Subject: README.woe32, GPL, and the Win32 binaries
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 11:30:39 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

>From README.woe32 in gettext-0.13.1.tar.gz "Note that binaries created with
MSVC 7.0 cannot be distributed: They depend on a closed-source library
'msvcr70.dll' which is not normally part of a Woe32 installation, therefore
the distribution of such binaries - with or without msvcr70.dll - would be
a violation of the GPL. This problem does not occur with MSVC 6.0 and

However, the binaries distributed in gettext-runtime-0.13.bin.woe32.zip
and gettext-tools-0.13.bin.woe32.zip appear to be linked against

>From the GPL text in COPYING in gettext-0.13.1.tar.gz "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

There appears to be a contradiction here.  Both the distributed binaries
and GPL (assuming one considers the C runtime library is distributed with
MSVC, and MSVC to be a major component for Win32 operating systems) support
the distribution of binaries created with MSVC 7.0 (or any other version).
It is 'msvcr70.dll' or other MSVC CRTLs that can not be distributed with
a GPL'd application/binary, not the binary created by MSVC that can not
be distributed.

Please clarify the README text, including the relation of this perceived
violation in conjunction with msvcrt.dll / msvcr70.dll on other Win32
platforms such as Windows 95 (which may not have originally shipped with
msvcrt.dll) or non MS Win32 implementations that may also not include the
CRT library.  Do you not consider the crtlib to be normally distributed
with MSVC or is MSVC [a compiler] not a major component on Win32 platforms?
Or is there some other section of the GPL I am overlooking or misreading?
If using MSVC 7 and distributing the binaries is a violation of the GPL,
then why do the gettext binaries distributed appear to be compiled with
MSVC 7?  How do you consider using MSVC 6 not to be a problem, when such
binaries can possibly be used on Windows 95, which may not include

All files in question are from http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/gettext/
and/or a mirror site.

Thank you,  
Kenneth J. Davis  

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