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Re: OT: GPL and jar file

From: Per Bothner
Subject: Re: OT: GPL and jar file
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 14:35:58 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.1b) Gecko/20020722

Andreas Rueckert wrote:
I have a licensing question, that you might be able to answer: are 2 classes in
a jar file 'linked' in a GPL way? I mean, if class A is under GPL and I put it
in a jar file with class B, does it restrict the license of B to GPL? Or could
B still be closed source?

This is a legal question, and I don't think anyone here can really
answer it.

My guess is that just placing the  classes in a jar doesn't "link" them,
but loading both classes into the same JVM does.  However, this is
like the old "user-does-the-link" ploy which (I believe) NeXT tried
(for the Objective-C compiler).  The FSF sicced their lawyers on them
and NeXT ended up Free'ing their Objective-C compiler.

A determining factor is likely to be to what extent B depends on A.
If they are completely independent, it is probably ok ("mere
aggregation"); but if B depends on A, I wouldn't try it.
        --Per Bothner

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