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Re: [ROFL] GCC's GPLv3 "Updated License Exception"

From: Tim Smith
Subject: Re: [ROFL] GCC's GPLv3 "Updated License Exception"
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 13:55:52 -0800
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Alexander Terekhov <> quoted the FSF:
> to the latest version of the license. It also paves the way for GCC to
> add a plugin architecture, by adding new protections against extending
> GCC with proprietary software.

It's cute how they think they can control what people do with plugins.
That issue arose a long time ago, with producers of commercial software
trying to use copyright to prevent unauthorized third-party plugins.
The plugin writers won.

If you write a program that has a plugin interface, and you want to
stop third-parties from writing unauthorized plugins, the only legal
tool that has a chance of working is the patent.  You have to make
it so that plugins have to practice something you have a patent on.

Even if the plugin has to use structure definitions, function calling 
sequences, constants, and such that are defined in your copyrighted 
code, those elements aren't covered by your copyright because they are 
considered to be processes or methods of operation.

The courts have also noted that there is a strong public interest in not 
allowing copyright owners to use their copyrights in a way that would 
give them the kind of monopoly that patents grant--if you want a 
patent-type monopoly, you have to get a patent.

--Tim Smith

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