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Re: gens License Check - Non-free

On Tue, 8 Jun 2004, Josh Triplett wrote:
> That is commonly done for packages that allow distribution as source
> only, or do not allow distribution of binaries built from modified
> source.  It does not get around the GPL's requirements.  Quoting from
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pragmatic.html :
> > Consider GNU Objective C. NeXT initially wanted to make this front
> > end proprietary; they proposed to release it as .o files, and let
> > users link them with the rest of GCC, thinking this might be a way
> > around the GPL's requirements. But our lawyer said that this would
> > not evade the requirements, that it was not allowed. And so they made
> > the Objective C front end free software.

On the other hand, their lawyer is an interested party.  It's like trusting a
MPAA lawyer to interpret the DMCA for you.

The FSF's position here is well-known, but has some odd implications.  For
instance, if you write code that requires Windows libraries, it is a derivative
work of Windows, and thus Microsoft can at any time prohibit you from
distributing it.  (Note that in this scenario the OS exception won't help
since it would be Microsoft, not the author of any GPL code you use, who would
be claiming the copyright violation.)

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