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Re: GPL scripts with a GPL-incompatible interpreter

Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2002 at 10:05:09AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> writes:
> > 
> > > Does the argument that a script is "just data" really hold water legally?
> > > I would think they are "just data" in the same sense that all binary
> > > executables are "just data" to a kernel; yet the vendors of proprietary
> > > Unices have always gone out of their way to make sure GPL software is not
> > > shipped together with their kernel, in order to take advantage of the
> > > GPL's "OS component" exception.
> > That's exactly what the text says in fact, in qualifying the "just
> > data" statement.
> I'm sorry, I'm not sure if your comments support or contradict my
> interpretation.  By "the text", do you mean the text of the GPL, or the
> text of the FAQ?  The GPL doesn't talk about data at all, and the only
> qualification in the FAQ is with reference to using GPL-incompatible
> bindings from a GPL script.
> My concern is not with bindings (most PHP *bindings* seem to be
> GPL-compatible), but with the interpreter itself; I don't see anything in
> the GPL that states unequivocally that distributing a GPL script together
> with a GPL-incompatible interpreter is acceptable.

You seem to be worrying about distributing GPL'd applications under
section 3 of the GPL.  But that is only for "object code or executable
form".  Debian is distributing it under section 2.  Furthermore, the
thing that Debian distributes doesn't have any parts of anything else
in it.  This is different from compiled C code, which has parts of the
compiler, libc, and other libraries.  So Debian doesn't have to worry
about compatibility.


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