Posted May 7, 2013 17:31 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: libstdc++ licensing
Parent article: Stallman: The W3C's Soul at Stake
libstdc++ is not under plain GPL. It has an exception which allows it to be linked, even statically, without causing the result to be GPL'd. See http://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/libstdc++/manual/license.html and http://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/libstdc++/faq.html#faq.lice...
True. This exception means you can propagate (== distribute) program linked with libstc++ under license of your choice if GCC embeds bits and pieces of libstdc++ in your program. But if you propagate libstdc++.so itself then you are not propagating just such a bundle! You are propagating libstdc++.so as independent, isolated module, too and such propagation does not fall under the aforementioned exception (there are no "Independent Modules" in libstdc++.so).
This, paradoxically, means that it's safer to distribute libstdc++ linked statically rather then linked dynamically.
Anyone avoiding libstdc++ for licensing reasons isn't paying attention.
Well, may be.
I personally know at least one Very Large Company with extensive legal expertise and a lot of experience with, and concern about, GPL software which is not worried about libstdc++.
And everyone knows about another Very Large Company which does not distribute libstdc++.so on their devices to make sure they'll not be affected by GPLv3. They may be too paranoid, sure, but the fact that the exact same guys who advised against distribution of libstdc++.so actually helped to write the aforementioned exception itself gives them some credibility, you know.
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