[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: free source code which requires non-free tools to build (dscaler modules for tvtime)

* Matt Zimmerman (mdz@debian.org) [030910 21:50]:
> I'm having some difficulty interpreting paragraph 3 of the GPL in this case,
> due to the unusual situation of using the Windows executable on a
> non-Windows platform.  I'll include the paragraph from the GPL verbatim here
> for reference:
> | The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for making
> | modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source code means
> | all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated
> | interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control compilation
> | and installation of the executable.  However, as a special exception, the
> | source code distributed need not include anything that is normally
> | distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components
> | (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the
> | executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.

> To me, it seems clear that the intent is to allow someone who already has a
> build environment, capable of producing "hello world" on their target
> platform, to compile the source code.  So, if I have a Windows build
> environment (or equivalent tools on another platform), I can build the
> Windows executable.  Or, if I have a Linux build environment, I would have
> enough information to try to port it.
> Legally, how does this apply to running a Windows executable using WINE?  It
> would seem to depend on the interpretation of "the operating system on which
> the executable runs".  It could either be "the operating system for which
> the executable is built" or "the operating system on which the executable is
> being run".

I would say a third interpretation: "the operating system for which
the executable is distributed". However, this interpretation has the
problem that it may be legal to distribute executables for use with
MS Win*, but not with Linux Wine. (But legalees has often misterious

However, IIRC there are at least some of the Windows Compilers running
on Wine. If we compile using such a compiler, it should be ok (if
seeing "Linux Wine" as the OS, and not "Linux").

   PGP 1024/89FB5CE5  DC F1 85 6D A6 45 9C 0F  3B BE F1 D0 C5 D1 D9 0C

Reply to: