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

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org>:

> > For the sake of argument, and to keep this discussion focused, let's
> > assume you wrote your own compatible header files.
> If your code uses nothing from the library, there's nothing left to
> discuss.

Like I said, some people, including, I think, RMS, think that if you
tell people to link your program with a GPL library then you are in
effect creating an unlicensed derived work even if you didn't
distribute the library yourself. Other people disagree, of course.

If you like, consider a continuum of cases. At one extreme, you
distribute a self-installing CD containing both the proprietary code
and the GPL library it uses: obviously forbidden? At the other
extreme, you give people anon CVS access to source code that some
people choose to link with a GPL library in the privacy of their own
home: obviously allowed?

So what if you distribute two separate CDs? What if one of the CDs is
distributed by a sister company? What if the proprietary code
can/cannot be used without the GPL library? What if there are
alternative libraries? What if you provide instructions for how to
link the source code with the library? It's not so much a continuum as
a whole lattice of intermediate possibilities and I really don't know
how to distinguish which ones are forbidden.


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