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Re: Q: Combining proprietary code and GPL for in-house use

On Tue, Jun 19, 2001 at 06:13:26PM +0200, Gregor Hoffleit wrote:
> I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the GPL, but still I'm not
> able to decide this (even after browsing
> http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl-faq.html):
> Let's make up a gedankenexperiment:
> I have written a program which I plan to distribute under a proprietary
> license. Now I have found a GPL library that I could use to add some
> additional, optional features to my program. AFAIK, the GPL doesn't prohibit
> linking the GPL library with my program, and it doesn't prohibit me using
> this combined work for my own work. It does prohibit, though, distribution
> of this combined work as long as I would use that proprietary license for my
> own code.

Your code becomes a derived work of the library you linked with because you
included the header files that are a part of that library into the text of
your program when you compiled it. You can't distribute your compiled code,
even by itself, unless you comply with the terms of the copyright licenses
on the software you've included. (In the case of software released under the
GNU GPL, the license is the only thing that gives you permission to copy the
headers from the library into your program and distribute the result - if
you don't play by its rules then you have no such right at all and any
copies you make are infringing ones in most jurisdictions).

Brian Ristuccia

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