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Has Bionic stepped over the GPL line?
Posted Mar 21, 2011 16:46 UTC (Mon) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129)
Posted Mar 21, 2011 16:48 UTC (Mon) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946)
Posted Mar 21, 2011 17:03 UTC (Mon) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129)
Posted Mar 21, 2011 18:03 UTC (Mon) by dark (subscriber, #8483)
I think the "exception to the exception" is vague
Posted Mar 21, 2011 18:49 UTC (Mon) by dbruce (subscriber, #57948)
How do you define "accompanies"? Does every (perhaps optional) package in Debian accompany every other package, all because they came out of the Debian archive? IANAL, but it seems to me to be a stretch to interpret this clause to mean that if GNU releases glibc under LGPL3, they are intending that it would not fall under the "system component" exception.
It seems more like a subtle bug in the wording of the LGPL3 than anything else.
Actually there are nothing vague about it...
Posted Mar 21, 2011 22:07 UTC (Mon) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
The "exception to exception" was designed to fight the following scenario: Microsoft or Sun takes GPLed program, stuffs all proprietary stuff in "system library" and then uses "system library" exception to sell such a combination. That's why Solaris usualy supplied GNU tools on separate "supplement" CD.
Now this protection backfires: GPLv3 takes a role of proprietary "system library" and so it can not be used for GLibC till everyone else will switch to GPLv3. Which probably will not happen anytime soon.
Posted Mar 21, 2011 22:17 UTC (Mon) by foom (subscriber, #14868)
I'd say, Which will not *ever* happen.
I'm not so sure...
Posted Mar 23, 2011 21:29 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
I'd say, Which will not *ever* happen.
I'm not so sure. Note that any non-trivial GPLv2-only program written in C++ can not be distributed on the same medium as GCC (remember that libgcc was relicensed under GPLv3+exception in GCC 4.4). BTW this includes older versions of KDE :-)...
About the only piece of code which can be forever kept under GPLv2 license is kernel (because it does not use standard GCC libraries and headers). Everything else is risky (you must prove code pulled from libgcc.a is uncopyrightable - and it's not always the case... especially on the platforms without FPU).
P.S. You can forever keep library and/or program under LGPL v2.x - but it's not a problem since it can then be linked with LGPLv3-licenses GLibC...
Posted Mar 24, 2011 0:28 UTC (Thu) by foom (subscriber, #14868)
It looks like it allows that, to me...
It's not the exception...
Posted Mar 24, 2011 7:00 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
I don't think that's the case; can you point out the clause of the GCC Runtime Library Exception that you think restricts distribution on the same medium?
It's not the exception. It's GPL v2, again. The same problem: 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.. Independent GPLv2-only program is safe. But if you include GPLv2-only program and GCC on a single medium - you are violating GPLv2 (often, but not always: while libstdc++ is included in most C++ programs and indeed is complex and copyrightable libgcc is much simpler and on some platforms like x86 it does not put anything copyrightable in С program). I'll not play Microsoft Florian and claim it immediately spells "the end of the world": it's not enough to violate someone's copyright. That someone must sue your first or at least claim it's offended. And if he can easily decide that in reality he's not offended and actually wants to permit such redistribution (like MySQL did), but it's genuine license violation and so is landmine...
P.S. In reality it's not 100% true: in some countries it is possible to sue someone even if the copyright owner is not objecting and even win the case, we are talking about sane jurisdictions here.
Posted Mar 24, 2011 12:12 UTC (Thu) by foom (subscriber, #14868)
Posted Mar 22, 2011 8:40 UTC (Tue) by dark (subscriber, #8483)
As for the intent, this whole clause is there to allow GNU software to be used on proprietary systems, not the other way around. This was pretty important back when there were no free systems. I'd be hesitant to read it any other way.
In fact, if glibc were intended to fall under that clause with no exceptions, you would get the weird situation that it would be allowed for an otherwise-free distribution to include a glibc binary without source. (LGPL v2.1, clause 6). I doubt that is the FSF's intent.
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