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Re: GPL, OpenSSL and Non-Free

Don Armstrong wrote:

> On Wed, 29 Dec 2004, Raul Miller wrote:
>>On Wed, Dec 29, 2004 at 04:47:06PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
>>>Unfortunatly, it is not clear that openssl is normally distributed
>>>with the other components, as we do not require that people
>>>actually install openssl.
>>Except, "we do not require require people actually install openssl"
>>isn't an issue for the GPL special exception.
> It gets at the core question of whether or not openssl is normally
> distributed with the core components of the OS itself, which is the
> issue for the special exception.
> Since we don't require that openssl be installed, I'm not sure that we
> can convincingly argue that it's actually normally distbruted with the
> core components of the OS itself.
> Don Armstrong

The full clause is "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/." (my emphasis)

As I understand it, in a Debian distribution, anything that could qualify for the exception 'accompanies the executable' by virtue of being on the same CD/web server/etc. Is this a correct interpretation?

On the subject of core components, the GPL itself mentions the 'compiler', which is not required to be installed. I'm not sure that not being required for every installation is sufficient to disqualify something from being a 'major component' of an operating system.

Lewis Jardine

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