Sounds like co-distribution is perfectly legal
Posted Nov 10, 2005 15:39 UTC (Thu) by hazelsct
In reply to: This is NOT about interfaces!
Parent article: Debian and Nexenta collide
Now back to Nexenta, CDDL and GPL. As we've seen from sample above it does not matter of libraries are using the same interface - if they are published as single product (and Nexenta presumably wants to do exactly this) then licenses must be compatible. In fact this was reason for GPLv2 ! Note this part of it: In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License. Why such exception was ever needed ? Easy: without this exception SUSE (with GPLed bash and proprietary Macromedia Flash) will be illegal! GPLv1 had no such provisions and this was a problem GPLv2 solved. May be GPLv3 will solve this problem, may be not - but right now Nexenta is in quite real trouble.
But aren't you disproving your own point here? Since the GPL expressly allows distributing non-GPL software in the same product, it would seem to allow distribution of GPL software with CDDL libc.
Furthermore, Sun and other proprietary unices have been distributing GPL gcc with proprietary libc implementations for literally decades without infringing, or at least without infringement suits. Why the sudden storm in a teacup over distribution with free software?
(Incidentally, this is not the same as the old KDE/Qt flap, which was about distributing GPL apps linked against non-free non-system libraries with non-standard interfaces, and nearly sank the original Corel Linux distribution -- or at least its apt/KDE software installation tool.)
As a Debian developer myself, I have to agree with paulj that the complaint of these DDs is a counterproductive restriction on free software, let alone childish infighting between free software camps which will more than likely damage the reputation of the Debian project and the community as a whole. To one day say, "SCO is wrong, interfaces are not copyrightable", and the next day turn around and say, "You'd better not link my free software to your free system software with a standard interface!" is truly pathetic.
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