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Re: GPL question


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPL question
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 22:57:00 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

address@hidden (Richard Tobin) writes:

> In article <address@hidden>, David Kastrup  <address@hidden> wrote:
>
>>> I think you're misunderstanding my question.  Aquamacs (as far as I
>>> know) contains code to access Apple's graphical interface
>>> libraries. As far as I know, there is no other implementation of
>>> these.  So according to your theory, when a user runs Aquamacs they
>>> create a derivative work of MacOS X.  If I required the FSF's
>>> permission to distribute a work that links with readline (ignoring
>>> that there is now an alternative implementation), surely I require
>>> Apple's permission to distribute a program that links with their
>>> libraries.  This does not seem like a desirable situation.
>
>>I propose that you read the license coming with the development
>>version of Apple's libraries.  Of course you will have to heed Apple's
>>conditions for distributing their code.
>
> I'm not suggesting that Apple does not allow you to do this.  What I
> find surprising is that Apple *could* legally stop people distributing
> programs for their operating system.

Could you please refrain from constantly changing the topic?
"Programs for their operating system" and "Program linked with their
development libraries for their operating system" are two different
topics.

If you are merely using the system call interface of the kernel, you
are not involved with creating a derivative work, and as long as the
customer has a license for running arbitrary programs, there is no
copyright problem from Apple.  But this license _is_ necessary.  In a
similar vein, a license for distributing stuff linked with development
libraries is necessary.  There is, for example, Cygwin, a POSIXy
environment for Unix.  Even though the interfaces are standard, you
are not free to compile and link with Cygwin and consider the result
a mere aggregation.

> So just to get this straight, do you agree that your theory would
> allow Apple to do this?

It actually depends on local laws whether buying an operating system
is considered to include an automatic license for running arbitrary
programs as part of "fair use".

-- 
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum


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