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Re: GPL question

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GPL question
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 11:37:56 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Oct 13, 8:22 am, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 13, 2007 at 10:34:36AM +0200, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> >    On Oct 12, 9:37 am, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
> >    > On Fri, Oct 12, 2007 at 06:03:03AM -0700, Mike Cox wrote:
> >    > > I am still confused. Does mere linking make the result realy
> >    > > *contain* code from a GPL program?
> >    > Most rational people consider it so, but you seem to want legal advice
> >    > so I hope you follow the sane reasoning of taking the license to a
> >    > lawyer and obtain a binding legal opinion.
> >    > Otherwise, feel free to run the risks of getting fired or bankrupt.
> >    > > How come they are allowed to do that but I am not?
> >    > Are you sure they didn't get a proprietary license from the authors?
> >    > It could also be the case that they haven't been caught yet...
> >    I'd find it a little strange that a Free software author -- no, not
> >    just that, but one for the *GNU Project*, as I think "libbfd" is
> >    GNU -- would agree to a proprietary (ie. goes against the ideals of
> >    "Freedom") license, unless of course they realized that _their_
> >    stuff would still be free as you could get the code for it from
> >    some place, eg they just gave a license that overrode the virality.
> > First of all, the GNU GPL is not viral.  You are free to not accept
> > it.  Secondly, Rui is simply confused, most probobly not knowing that
> > BFD is part of the GNU projetc, and that the FSF is the copyright
> > holder.  One cannot remeber what every tiny bit of software is part
> > of.
> >    However it still seems odd that a GNU Project author would
> >    even support a proprietary project...
> > He didn't.  All Rui noted was that the copyright holder (not knowing
> > that it was the FSF) could have licnesed the program under a
> > proprietary license.  This is a simple fact.
> Yes, I had no idea it was a GNU project. If I did I wouldn't even
> raise the possibility :)

Thank you, and Alfred too, for the clarification.

As for the "viral", that's just what I call it. *If you choose* to use
GPL code in your program, even if only a few lines, then you
are legally obligated to release the entire program, not just the
GPL code, (ie. all the parts that are your own work as well)
under the GPL (unless of course you remove the GPL code so
it once again is 100% original). That is a fact. What other word
is there for it? Oh, that's right, copyleft. Oops, my bad :(

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