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Re: GPL License question

In message <41B612EB.9060802@verizon.net>, Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> writes
Tom deL wrote:
A product has piqued my interest and claims to be GPL but the disclaimers
and general tone of their license "explanation" gives me pause.

Any opinions of how truly "open source" this project is would be greatly

Others have mentioned this project on debian-legal as well, with similar
concerns.  See the thread "Is this software really GPL?" back in
October, starting at

In particular, passages that seem (to me at least) to want to make programs
written for QM fall into the realm of derivative works. Seems a bit as if
gnu would want anything compiled with gcc (or written in a flavour of
C that is intended for gcc) to become a derivative work.

Am I reading this the wrong way?

While their explanatory material is slightly biased towards making you
believe you need one of their Commercial QM [sic; should be Proprietary]
licenses, I think they have the correct interpretation of derivative
works.  Just as a program written against a GPLed library is (generally)
a derivative work of that library, a program written against OpenQM is
(generally) a derivative work of OpenQM, and as such, is subject to the
terms of the GPL on OpenQM.  Furthermore, they acknowledge that they
implement a superset of a particular standard, which has multiple
implementations, so if your program requires *only* the standard and
nothing specific to their program, it is not subject to the GPL.
Finally, they explicitly state that nothing in their explanation
provides any further restrictions beyond those of the GPL; see the "How
do you resolve any conflicts between what you say and what the GPL says"

The BIG problem I have with their attitude (and I was the person who started that "is this software really GPL" thread) is...

The core of their product is the BASIC compiler. The output of gcc is not covered by the licence that covers gcc. They are claiming that if I use their free compiler, then I get bitten by their licence.

With Kylix, the GPL bit because you needed to link in all the Borland libraries. As far as I can tell, there is nothing from OpenQM actually linked in to the object code produced by the BASIC compiler. So if I distribute my object code, and don't distribute OpenQM, how on earth is my code caught by the GPL (as they allege).

Oh - and I would point out I'm a respected guru in the Pick/MulitValue world - of which OpenQM is a variant - so although I could be wrong (I don't really know OpenQM) I doubt it. I just know the sort of product it is to well to think I'm mistaken ...

Anthony W. Youngman - wol at thewolery dot demon dot co dot uk
HEX wondered how much he should tell the Wizards. He felt it would not be a
good idea to burden them with too much input. Hex always thought of his reports
as Lies-to-People.
The Science of Discworld : (c) Terry Pratchett 1999

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