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Re: Using Debian as a base for a LiveCD together with non-free products.

Jenner Fusari wrote:
Jeff Licquia ha scritto:
From the free software side, there should be very few problems. Linkage might be an issue. If the non-free app links to works licensed under the GNU GPL, there's an exception that allows this *if the two works are not distributed together*, which might make the app legal normally but not on the Live CD.

Where I can find this exception on the GPL? I wasn't aware of such an exception.

Section 3 of GPL v2, right below point c:

"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."

But... how can Linspire (for example) build (and sell) a distribution that feature both free and commercial software?

As far as I know, the proprietary software Linspire distributes does not depend on libraries licensed under the GPL. Most libraries shipped in Debian are licensed under the LGPL or some more permissive license, so this is not unusual.

Maybe I have to ask for a written permission to make this live-cd to someone in the Debian team? (who?)

We don't hold the copyright for most of the software in Debian. You would need to identify the particular software you wanted to use, determine who owns the copyright for that software, and ask them, should there be a problem.

No, that's not my case. Got nothing to recompile. The commercial software has only the following dependencies: libc6,



XFree86 license (pre-4.4), MIT license, and some others, none of which seem to have a GPL-style copyleft.




GPL, with an exception:

   As a special exception, you may use this file as part of a free software
   library without restriction.  Specifically, if other files instantiate
   templates or use macros or inline functions from this file, or you compile
   this file and link it with other files to produce an executable, this
   file does not by itself cause the resulting executable to be covered by
   the GNU General Public License.  This exception does not however
   invalidate any other reasons why the executable file might be covered by
   the GNU General Public License.

This seems to cover use of libstdc++6 by your proprietary app, although again, remember that I'm not a lawyer.


GPL, with a different exception:

    In addition to the permissions in the GNU General Public License,
    the Free Software Foundation gives you unlimited permission to
    link the compiled version of this file into combinations with
    other programs, and to distribute those combinations without any
    restriction coming from the use of this file.  (The General Public
    License restrictions do apply in other respects; for example, they
    cover modification of the file, and distribution when not linked
    into a combine executable.)

Again, this seems to be OK to use in a proprietary app.


The Open Group's usual permissive license.

and libxdmcp6.

Same as libxau6.

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