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Re: DRAFT: Email to RMS (take 2)

On Tue, Oct 15, 2002 at 05:19:50PM -0700, Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Oct 2002, Joel Baker wrote:
> > > Do you have any specific examples of this?
> > Please see the archives of debian-legal, both on the current thread for
> > this and past threads regarding linking GPL binaries and non-GPL-compatible
> > licenses (and what constitutes the latter).
> I read that one thread. I don't see specific example.
> Hmmm. I wonder about GNU Emacs being used on operating systems years
> before needed GNU libraries even existed. (I guess I should read that old
> license in my old GNU Emacs comb-bound manual on my shelf.)

Note that the GPL has exception clauses for non-compatible 'system
libraries' that aren't distributed with the GPL code, which seems intended
to cover this. Whether they also cover things such as Debian is part of why
I emailed RMS for clarification.

> This is quite confusing, since FSF code itself is provided for using with
> non-GPL'd libraries.

Yup. Because they know that if they want their stuff to be used, they
pretty much have to...

> Even GLIBC used old 4.4BSD code (and headers).

Note: 4.4BSD was retroactively relicensed to no longer have the advertising
clause in 1999 by UCB. Thus, this would be kosher. FreeBSD is in a similar
boat (modulo some pieces that aren't theirs); NetBSD, however, still has a
license derived from the old BSD license.

> > In short.... "Yes, such things have occured". The OpenSSL fracas is
> > just one of the more memorable cases. There have been a number of
> > others.
> I don't see how this applies to the OpenSSL issue where some code was not
> really open source.

Because the GPL (at least, 2 and 2.1) is equally incompatible with a
4-clause BSD license.

> Do you have any specific examples of a problem with linking against
> the libraries?

See above.

> Isn't the GPL fun?

Don't even go there.
Joel Baker                           System Administrator - lightbearer.com
lucifer@lightbearer.com              http://users.lightbearer.com/lucifer/

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