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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:14:40 +0200

Tim Smith wrote:
> The relationship "depends on in order to function" is simply outside the
> scope of copyright law.

GNUtians have a different copyright law in their {virtual} GNU Republic.

[from Moglen's affidavit]


The GPL is a very simple form of copyright license, as compared to other 
current standards in the software industry, because it involves no 
contractual obligations.


[from Moglen's interview, note "Your code, in order to operate..."]


2) Clarifying the GPL
by sterno 

One issue that I know has come up for me is how the GPL applies in 
situations where I'm using GPL software but I'm not actually modifying 
it. For example, I write a Java application, and it is reliant on a JAR 
that is GPL'd. Do I then need to GPL my software? I haven't changed the 
JAR in anyway, I'm just redistributing it with my software. The end user 
could just as easily download the JAR themselves, it's just a convenience 
for me to offer it in my package. 


The language or programming paradigm in use doesn't determine the rules 
of compliance, nor does whether the GPL'd code has been modified. The 
situation is no different than the one where your code depends on static 
or dynamic linking of a GPL'd library, say GNU readline. Your code, in 
order to operate, must be combined with the GPL'd code, forming a new 
combined work, which under GPL section 2 (b) must be distributed under 
the terms of the GPL and only the GPL.



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