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Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced

From: Andrew Suffield
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 20:49:23 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 09:28:31PM +0200, Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas wrote:
> But as I've said, if the compiler and developer tools are "freeware"
> or not is irrelevant from the license point of view, in my
> opinion. These are the same tools used to build all Mac OSX
> applications; any legal restriction because a GPL interpretation
> would mean that developing GPL applications for Mac OSX would be
> forbidden as well.

Uh, no. They are so not-irrelevant that the GPL contains an explicit
clause to handle this case, without which it would be very hard to
write GPL applications on non-free platforms. In GPLv2 it's this:

"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 executable."

An application which relied on some proprietary compiler that was not
covered by this clause would not be distributable under the GPL (which
is fairly obvious, because otherwise it would be very easy to work
around the GPL by putting all your proprietary changes into the

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