Subject: Re: dumb GPL question
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 10:29:52 +0900

>>>>> "Adam" == Adam Theo <> writes:

    Adam> so, with the GPL, at least, it is the GPL that restricts the
    Adam> linking to other (non-copyleft or non-free) works?

    Adam> it is not some U.S. law that restricts this?

No (as several others have pointed out), and yes.  AFAIK, RMS contends
that (for example) dynamic linking creates a combined work, not
according to the terms of the GPL (which doesn't say anything about
the "exec(3) boundary"), but according to copyright law.  He insists
that Linus's permissiveness toward binary modules is _not_ a "legal
interpretation" of the GPL, but an additional exceptional clause.

I don't know what the received opinion of the legally well-informed is
about that; that's just my understanding of RMS's position.

    Adam> i suppose the other work's license could restrict it linking
    Adam> with GPL (or certain other licenses) code, tho, correct? but
    Adam> my main point is that the GPL is [the legal obstacle to
    Adam> linking and distributing combinations including code under a
    Adam> different license]?

The GPL is almost always an obstacle, yes.  "Blame" is the wrong word
since the parts of the GPL in question are explicitly deprecating
certain kinds of freedom in favor of RMS's social engineering goals.
Ie, this is a Feature[tm], not a bug.

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