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[Gcl-devel] Re: [gnu.org #48656] Re: GCL compliance with GNU GPL

From: David Turner
Subject: [Gcl-devel] Re: [gnu.org #48656] Re: GCL compliance with GNU GPL
Date: 30 Jun 2003 20:36:43 -0400

On Mon, 2003-06-30 at 19:36, address@hidden via RT wrote:
> The following message is a courtesy copy of an article
> that has been posted to gmane.lisp.gcl.devel as well.
> Hi Camm, thanks for your reply.
> > * In message <address@hidden>
> > * On the subject of "Re: GCL compliance with GNU GPL"
> > * Sent on 30 Jun 2003 17:57:09 -0400
> > * Honorable Camm Maguire <address@hidden> writes:
> >
> > Readline is a compile time gcl option.  I do agree that linking it in
> > changes the license.  It does seem that a note in the COPYING file to
> > this effect might be the most appropriate -- i.e. if you compile with
> > readline, the product is GPL.  This gives users the opportunity to
> > compile an lgpl version without readline should they desire.

I agree that the licensing ought to be clarified.

> Did you read the e-mail exchange between RMS and Bruno Haible about
> readline and CLISP?  The link is here:
> <http://cvs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/*checkout*/clisp/clisp/doc/Why-CLISP-is-under-GPL?rev=HEAD>.
> for the terminally lazy, the upshot is that the mere possibility of
> linking with readline means GPL for the whole product.
> CLISP does come with a "noreadline" library and it can also be linked
> without readline; CLISP does not use readline on win32 and amiga.
> Nevertheless it is covered by GNU GPL because it _can_ be linked with
> readline.  _This is the intent of the GNU GPL_.

Right, but it could *also* be covered by some other license *when it
doesn't link with or otherwise is not derived from readline*:

Here's the quote from the GPL:
These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole.  If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works.  But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote

I reiterate that the problem with GCL in 1992 *must not have been* that
it was LGPL, but that it was under some incompatible license.

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF

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