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Re: XEmacs binding

From: Greg Hudson <ghudson_at_MIT.EDU>
Date: 2001-10-29 15:52:40 CET


The FSF position is that anything you do as a "workaround" will be
looked upon dimly by a court. The whole effect of what you want to do
is to distribute a binary consisting of GPL and non-GPL parts,
regardless of whether the user performs the link or whether the module
is loaded via dlopen().

Is this position valid? Nobody knows. The GPL itself has never been
tested in court, and the idea that actions which mechanistically do
not violate copyright might be constrained by the license because of
their holistic effect is perhaps a little dicey. It would probably
depend on what judge heard the case. I still think that ethically, we
should not be trying to "work around" the GPL.

Is it a shame? Maybe. The authors of XEmacs chose to use the GPL.
Presumably that means they didn't want derivative works of their code
to include additional restrictions. They might consider the Apache
license's additional restrictions to be harmless, or they might not.

(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.)

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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:46 2006

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