So regardless of any exceptions free software advocates might want to write into their own license, the adoption by the courts of the dynamic linking equals prohibited derived work argument would make running GPL software on Windows boxes illegal without the consent of both Microsoft and *every* contributor to existing GPL software packages.
Have you actually read the GPL? Such consent already embedded in both
GPL2 and GPLv3.
GPLv2: 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.
GPLv3: The Corresponding Source for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities. However, it does not include the work's System Libraries, or general-purpose tools or generally available free programs which are used unmodified in performing those activities but which are not part of the work.
In addition, given the dubious distinction between library and system call interfaces, it could become illegal to run proprietary software on the same Linux box with GPL software. If they are both loaded on the same storage medium, they become a collective derived work, right?
Absolutely true and completely irrelevant. Again: GPL specifically says that it does not care about such cases.
Do we really want a world where companies have to partition their operations into a GPL-net and a proprietary net, and at a minimum run a firewall so there can be no possible communication or interoperability between them?
That's the point of GPL, you know. It specifically says how the firewall must be designed to comply with GPL. And the reason is to avoid marginalization or assimilation of free software. If it said that you can not ever mix GPL and proprietary software in a box - it'll lead to marginalization (as you've clearly described), if it allowed close ties to proprietary software - the door to "embrace, extend, extinguish" approach will be wide open.
Because that is the logic of where all these expansive conceptions of derived works are heading - namely tying software and hardware developers hands so that no system can ever be constructed without the explicit permission of every producer of every component in the whole system.
That's very true but you are forgetting that GPL is such explicit permission and it does include clear demarcation line.
The GPL will become a dead letter overnight.
I fail to see why.
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