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



On Thu, Jun 28, 2001 at 02:00:34PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> When I take, say, /bin/ls, and run it under fakeroot (and thus link it
> with libfakeroot.so.0, aiui), I'm not (afaik) causing the resulting modified
> file (that's only ever in memory) to carry prominent notice that I changed
> the files, and I've no idea if the date of the change is stored anywhere.
> 
> Does that mean my running ls under fakeroot is a violation of the
> GPL? After all, both fakeroot and ls are under the GPL.

That class of issue started bothering me earlier this evening, and I
sent off a question to RMS about it.

I think I know the answer (17 USC 117) for the U.S. context, but I'd
like to know the general answer.

> If not, then presumably I've done exactly the same things to satisfy
> 2(a) when I run some non-free program with a GPLed library, or
> vice-versa.

These are not necessarily exactly the same.

> 2(b) doesn't apply since I'm not distributing, and 2(c) almost
> certainly doesn't apply since I'm not making a non-interactive program
> interactive.

Someone distributed ls and fakeroot.

> Personally, I'd've thought making the necessary copies in RAM to run the
> program would come under the general permissions for "the act of running
> the Program". I'm pretty sure there are explicit provisions to allow that
> in .au copyright law, fwiw.

In the U.S. it's 17 USC 117 that grants special permissions in the
context of computer programs.



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