Re: mkisofs - filenames converted to lowercase
- From: "Peter J. Holzer" <hjp-usenet2@xxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 00:01:32 +0100
On 2010-12-02 09:47, Joerg Schilling <js@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In article <slrnifahfn.t9o.hjp-usenet2@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Peter J. Holzer <hjp-usenet2@xxxxxx> wrote:
On 2010-11-29 10:30, David Brown <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
It's fine to /use/ GPL'ed software along with non-GPL'ed software, and
it is fine to link them together (dynamically, statically, or even in
the same compilation). But you can't then legally distribute the
binary. This is why source-code distributions like Gentoo can give you
a package that's a mixture of GPL and CDDL code, while binary
distributions like Debian cannot. It's just a simple reading of the
GPL, following both the intention of the license and the letter of the
I agree with most of what you wrote and even that it is "a simple
reading of ... the letter of the license". However, I think it is too
simple and I doubt that it is the intention. For example, one library
with a GPL-incompatible licence is openssl. Openssl is normally
distributed with the OS. There are (or were - there is now gnutls as a
It is a fairytale that there is a difference in license compatibility
between a library that is "normally distributed with the system" and
another one that is not.
These rules define the boundary between "the program" and "the platform
that program runs on". Clearly the license can only cover the program
and not the platform.
There are two constraints that this rule tries to meet:
1) In 1991, when the GPL2 was written, many Unixes didn't have shared
libraries. They did usually ship with a C compiler and libaries.
So anybody who distributed binaries for these systems necessarily
shipped binaries which contained code from the GPL'ed program and
the proprietary libraries. The FSF wanted to allow that. Otherwise
the GPL would not have been accepted by authors who wanted to write
programs for those systems.
2) But if you allow binaries which allow some GPL code and some non-GPL
code there is an obvious loophole for someone who wants to take a GPL
program and make it into a proprietary program: He just puts all his
new code into a library and modifies the program to call that
library. Then he distributes the library under his license and the
modified code under the GPL. Obviously this prevents the licensee of
the modified program from exercising his rights (redistribution,
modification, ...), so this had to be disallowed. (I remember that
somebody tried this with gdb and was successfully sued by the FSF)
The solution for the problem was to declare code that is normally
shipped with the platform as part of the platform, even if that code is
incorporated into the executable. But code not normally shipped with the
platform is not part of the platform and must therefore be part of the
program and covered by the GPL.
Of course in real life there are always some corner cases where it's
hard to decide on this boundary, and there are some people who have
strange ideas about this boundary.
1) There is _absolutely_ nothing in the GPL text that allows to prove
such a claim. People who read the GPL know what's really in the GPL
text: There is indeed an exception that allows you to exclude a
library normally distributed with the sytem from the list of parts
that belong to what is called "full source". There is however nothing
that grants better license compatibility for such a library.
License compatibility simply isn't an issue in this case.
2) If OS distributors could influence the effects from the Copyright law
and from the GPL by adding own definitions to software they
distribute for their platform, then the GPL would be worth nothing.
An OS distributor does not own any rights on the software and for this
reason, such a distributor cannot change the rules for licensing.
Of course they can't. But that isn't the issue either.
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