[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Question in using GPL code in commercial products

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Question in using GPL code in commercial products
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 11:05:55 +0200

Gordon Burditt wrote:
> If you link the GPL'd library that implements the API, and
> you distribute your code, you probably have to open up your
> own code.

ICE (FSF's attorneys) on automatic aggregation of software copyrights:

In fact, the GPL itself rejects any automatic aggregation of software
copyrights under the GPL simply because one program licensed under the
GPL is distributed together with another program that is not licensed
under the GPL: "In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based
on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) 
on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the 
other work under the scope of this License."

Linux kernel v. application:

And as the copyright notice in the kernel sources says, user
applications are not subject to the GPL.

Supported by Hollaar:

With dynamically-linked libraries, the application program being
distributed is no longer a compilation that includes the library.
Because the library is not being distributed with the application
program, no permission is needed from the copyright owner of the 
library for the distribution to users. Users must, of course, be 
authorized to use the library, but if they are owners of a copy 
of the library, under Section 117 they can make any adaptations 
of the library necessary to use it with the application program.


I'd like to modify GPL-covered programs and link them with the
portability libraries from Money Guzzler Inc. I cannot distribute 
the source code for these libraries, so any user who wanted to 
change these versions would have to obtained those libraries 
separately. Why doesn't the GPL permit this? ...

FAQ as Fact:

In 2002, a company named Global Technologies Ltd (now defunct) had
ported some 4.5M lines of GPL/BSD and other open source code to Windows
using AT&T Uwin. They claimed less than 500 lines had to be changed and
all changes went back to original authors. The binaries were distributed
from their web site, but one day disappeared. My $50.00 check for a CD
distribution of the binaries and source, which indicated $25 gift to
FSF, was returned with a letter explaining Moglan threatened legal
action for violating the GPL because the code was linked with AT&T
uwin's proprietary posix.dll that provided the POSIX interface on

Hollaar disagress:

Some have claimed that an application program that needs a library for
its operation is a derivative work of that library. They take that
position because the application program is "based on" the library
because it was written to use the subroutines and other aspects of the
library. Such a position is misplaced....
No other conclusion makes sense. If it were not the case, then any
program using the applications program interfaces (APIs) of an operating
system could be considered a derivative work of that operating system.
And, under the exclusive right to prepare derivative works, the
copyright owner of an operating system such as Microsoft Windows could
control who was allowed to write programs for that operating system.

What was that automatic rejection again? 


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]