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[DPRG] How does the GPL work?

Subject: [DPRG] How does the GPL work?
From: Chuck McManis cmcmanis at mcmanis.com
Date: Fri May 31 15:00:35 CDT 2002

An accurate (and overly lawyerly) statement is:
         The GPL hasn't been litigated, thus it doesn't work
         any "way" yet.

If you talk to Stallman he will say, "Of course, you have to open source 
your product, if you're going to use our free software the cost of that is 
that you have to make your software free as well. If you can't live with 
that use some other software."

Most lawyers I've talked to (and its been a bunch) believe that strict 
applications are ok. However, the FSF sent lawyers after David Fiddes 
because even though he published all the diffs needed to run his Coldfire 
version of the gcc compiler, he didn't distribute _all_ the sources to the 
binutils (which would kill his ISP account anyway)

If you include something in the kernel it gets murkier, the split is 50/50 
whether a court would find loadable kernel modules are covered under GPL 
and probably 90/10 believe that linked in device drivers are covered by GPL.

I happen to think the GPL is evil. But that's because I'm a capitalist and 
not a marxist when it comes to economic theory. YMMV

--Chuck

At 11:58 AM 5/31/02, Jeff Koenig wrote:
>Let's say I develop a stand-alone product, and decide to use Linux as my
>operating system.
>
>Do I have to open-source my application code?
>
>If I use a commercial variant, as I think Micro C Linux is, how is the GPL
>changed?
>
>Thanks,
>  Jeff
>
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