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Re: On interpreting licences (was: KDE not in Debian?)

> > > b/c "executable work" as written in the quoted sentence above refers to the
> > > executable work as it is being distributed, not as it exists at run-time).

On Mon, 7 Feb 2000, Raul Miller wrote:
> > You're claiming here that even though Qt must be linked with kghostscript
> > that the executing program doesn't contain Qt?

On Mon, Feb 07, 2000 at 12:53:51PM -0500, William T Wilson wrote:
> The executing program isn't relevant because the GPL doesn't specify
> the conditions the program can be run under. It only specifies the
> conditions the program can be distributed under.

That's fine: as long as you give the complete source code for the
executable program you can execute it under whatever conditions you

But linking with Qt isn't some random example of some unusual
circumstances for running the program.  Linking with Qt is the only way
you can have a complete copy of the program.

And you have to distribute the complete source for the program even if
you're not distributing all of the object code.  And, of course, that
source has to be distributed in a way that meets the terms of the GPL.

> > > I.e., the GPL does distinguish b/w dynamic and static linking.
> > 
> > It doesn't even use the term "linking" in the terms of the license.
> I think it does, by implication if not directly.  If you link statically
> with a proprietary library which is not part of the operating system then
> you cannot distribute under the GPL.

Linking statically with a proprietary library is perfectly legal if
(1) the library is distributed with the OS, and (2) the GPLed program
is not.

Linking dynamically doesn't give any additional permissions.

> But you can if you link dynamically, because you aren't distributing
> any proprietary code at all. You're just assuming that the required
> proprietary code will already be on the target system.

"Distribute with/without code" only matters for that special exception
that lets people link (statically or dynamically) with a proprietary libc.
And even there you've not understood the requirement.

Except for that special exception, you have to distribute the complete
source for the program under the GPL even if you're only distributing
part of the object code yourself.


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