Misunderstanding GPL's terms and conditions as restrictions

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Mon Jul 28 03:51:56 UTC 2008

On Jul 27, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com> wrote:

> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> John A. Hacker develops, from scratch, a program that contains two
>> source files: lib.c and main.c.  [...]  John A. publishes the
>> whole, named gnothing, under the GPLv2+, and never publishes lib.c
>> in any other way.
>> Evelyn D. Scent maintains a non-Free fork of bsdown called macrash, so
>> she takes this new release containing lib.c, merges the add-on
>> features she maintains, and publishes a new release, under the usual
>> restrictive EULA, known to be compatible with the 3-clause BSD
>> license.

> No reason to ask - the people using the alternative licenses have no
> need to agree to the GPL terms for the work as a whole that includes
> GPL-encumbered parts.

And yet in this same e-mail you were claiming that the GPL would
somehow deprive people of the additional permissions granted by the
mBSD header, because of a misreading of section 2 that, per what you
say above, you don't really believe.

> And the FSF does routinely claim that a dependency on
> a non-GPL-compatible library is a violation if the functions are
> unique and no GPL-compatible implementation exists.

Show me.  I'm pretty sure you're getting it backwards: the case you
cited is one of GPLed library and derived program distributed under an
incompatible license.  We're talking about GPLed sources derived from
non-GPLed libraries.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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