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Re: GPL, yet again. (The kernel is a lot like a shared library)

On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Joe Smith wrote:

It is generally belived that the GPL 'derivative' clauses may actually be upheld in the case of static libraries. The fact that linking the .o's of the library directly with your program is equivelent to linking the library with the object files of your program, seems to verify this.

The question still debated is whether Shared libraries are like this also.

I haven't heard it debated very hotly in recent memory. General acceptance seems to be that it applies equally to static and dynamic linking. Dynamic linking DOES open up the possibility of distributing the using code and not distributing the library itself. The combination of the two may be un-distributable, however.

The linux kernel 'copying' file states this:
  NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel
  services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use
  of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".
If that statement is true and if it does not qualify as a licence exception, then the following argument would hold:

I think this is a license exception (or at least a clarification that applies specifically to this work). It is not a statement about GPL-licensed work in general.

  NOTE! The GPL does *not* cover programs that use shared library
  services by normal function calls - this is merely considered normal use
of the shared library, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".

The copyright holder of a given library would have to make that statement for the library in question for it to apply.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>

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