It is hardly a tangled web to say that you should avoid creating derivative
works of GPL code if you are not able (or willing) to distribute such
derivative work itself under the GPL.
You can think of this advice in two ways: (a) I am showing clients how to
avoid the GPL, or (b) I am showing clients how to comply with the GPL. But
if "avoiding" the GPL == "compliance" with the GPL, what possible objection
could there be?
Only if you think that the GPL's reciprocity requirement should apply to
any use of a covered work would you believe that the shimming strategies I
discuss would be "wrong," or violative of the "spirit" of the GPL; but that
extreme position, which would extend the GPL's reciprocity requirement
beyond copyright protection, has never been espoused by the FSF so far as I
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