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

On Tue, Jun 19, 2001 at 10:59:44PM +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:
> I think RMS's reasoning is that if you ever distribute the library
> to A, you need to accept the contract called GPL - and in that
> contract you promise to refrain from ever distributing to B a program
> that links against that library and is not GPLed.

Not really.

If you ever distribute a program which includes GPLed code, you need
to respect the GPL copyright.  And, if you try skirting that, there's
also a legal principle called "contributory infringement" which makes
skirting copyright rather difficult.

Take a step back and look at other copyright cases.  You'll see stuff
like a song being declared in violation of another song's copyright,
because it's "too similar".  It doesn't matter what technique was used
to distribute that song (for example, whether the person who wrote the
second song had vague memories they were working from, or whether it
was pure coincidence).

With that kind of case being "typical" for copyright law, why do you think
that "the user has to compile the program" would make any difference?


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