It is a problem that needs to be fixed
Posted Feb 20, 2004 3:35 UTC (Fri) by josh_stern
In reply to: It is a problem that needs to be fixed
Parent article: Stallman on XFree86 License Change (OfB.biz)
From the GPL itself:
>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.
From the FSF web page:
>I'm writing a Windows application with Microsoft Visual C++ (or Visual >Basic) and I will be releasing it under the GPL. Is dynamically linking my >program with the Visual C++ (or Visual Basic) run-time library permitted >under the GPL?
> Yes, because that run-time library normally accompanies the compiler >or interpreter you are using.
I always heard these statements explained as an example of a class of exceptions for system/platform components. xlib certainly qualifies as a system/platform component for an xlib application.
Regarding the point about distributors, I can only see how it applies to xlib applications they themselves have written, since many Linux distributors have 'merely aggregated' non-free works written by others for a long time).
None of the above should be construed as an endorsement of the XFree86 team's irresponsible decision to cause unnecessary headaches for their users, though I do think that the situation highlights some technical flaws in the GPL.
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