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Re: Trolltech GPL violation?

On Mon, Jan 02, 2006 at 01:35:42PM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 01, 2006 at 09:58:17PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 02, 2006 at 01:50:54AM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > > > The "source code" for the documentation is embedded as comments in the
> > > > program source code, in a doxygen-like way.
> > > > 
> > > > Trolltech has not, to my knowledge, released the tool they use to
> > > > generate the HTML from the comments.
> > > 
> > > Then we do indeed have (yet again) a non-redistributable Qt bundle -
> > > the GPL explicitly includes such tools as 'source', with the singular
> > > exception that it doesn't include things normally shipped with the
> > > operating system (like generic compilers).
> > 
> > The GPL says:
> > 
> >  "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."
>    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > (If there's some other rationale for "the GPL explicitly includes such tools
> > as 'source'", I missed it.)
> I was referencing the ^^^ed part. That sentence reads to me as 'the
> build system', and such a tool smells like part of the build system.

It doesn't say "the build system".  It says "the scripts used to control
compilation".  Makefiles, linker scripts, autoconf templates.  If it was
meant to include compiler-like tools, it would say "the compiler used to
build the executable", but it clearly avoids that.  (For good reason:
compilers are *not* part of a program's source code, and the GPL's
definition of the term tries to be in line with reality--with more success
than most.)

The GPL does not require that tools used to generate HTML from comments
be made available, or any other such tools.

Glenn Maynard

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