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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: 06 Jul 2004 20:50:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
> [...]
> > Which must be why they were able to force NeXT computers to open their
> > Objective C compiler, 
> You mean Objective-C front-end? They should have simply used plain 
> old C and the GCC (or whatever) as back-end, like Comeau C++.

Sure, but they didn't, and thus had to open the sources after the FSF
went after them.  And your point was?

> <quote>
>       * I am not distributing "one program", so GPL doesn't apply to me 
> either.
> The FSF position would be that this is still one program, which has
> only been disguised as two.  The reason it is still one program is
> that the one part clearly shows the intention for incorporation of the
> other part.
> I say this based on discussions I had with our lawyer long ago.  The
> issue first arose when NeXT proposed to distribute a modified GCC in
> two parts and let the user link them.  Jobs asked me whether this was
> lawful.  It seemed to me at the time that it was, following reasoning
> like what you are using; but since the result was very undesirable for
> free software, I said I would have to ask the lawyer.
> What the lawyer said surprised me; he said that judges would consider
> such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very harsh toward
> them.  He said a judge would ask whether it is "really" one program,
> rather than how it is labeled.
> So I went back to Jobs and said we believed his plan was not allowed
> by the GPL.
> </quote>
> He and his lawyer (Moglen, I guess) would have been laughed out of
> court with such silly "subterfuge" and "one part clearly shows the
> intention for incorporation of the other part" arguments.

Which must be why NeXT bowed to the pressure.

> >                       Motorola to open their signal processor
> > specific variant of gcc
> Details?

What for?  Google for it if you want to.  Since facts don't get you
out of denial, where is the point in bothering to dig up more facts?

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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