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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: Per Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 15:36:59 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110002 (No Gnus v0.2) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Haakon Riiser <> writes:

> I can't even believe why they
> would do such a thing -- are they afraid of getting infected by
> the GPL license in some way?  Do they mention the GPL specifically?

The Visual C++ runtime library license does not mention the GPL
specifically, but does mention "copyleft" licenses in general.  As far
as I can see, it hits both GPL, LGPL, QPL, and perhaps even MPL (which
is a very weak copyleft).

I believe the GPL is the main target, because GPL'ed software are the
main competition to Microsoft in some markets.  Most notoriously, the
Samba server.

> Here's what our lawyer said (more or less):

As another poster said, listening to your lawyer is a lot smarter than
listening to what I, or any other in this group, may say.

> All restrictions on distribution of the GPL'd program appears under
> GPL section 2, which specifically targets modified copies only:

Please note that the GPL does not *restrict* distribution.  It
*allows* distribution.  By default (i.e. copyright law), distribution
is not allowed.  So you should search for those clauses that
explicitly allows distribution, not a lack of clauses that disallows

>   2. You may MODIFY your copy or copies of the Program or any

Logically, this sentence (fragment) does not say that modifying the
program is the only way to form a work based on the program.  It
implies that *if* you modify the program, you create a work based on
it.  Nowhere does it states what happen if you do not modify the

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