How To Break The GPL

John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Mar 3 20:24:07 UTC 2000

I wrote:

> Alice could test using the unfree library (for which, perhaps, she does not
> have a distribution license) and distribute the unfree application to run
> with Trent's freely available clone.

Two little ironies that I thought of just after posting:

1) The harder Trent works to make his clone match the unfree library exactly,
   the more reliable Alice's program becomes.

2) Alice wouldn't have much luck with such a distribution system on Windows
   unless Trent not only packaged his library as a DLL but also used the
   same name for it.  But with the growth of free operating systems, which
   routinely have things like "make" and "ld" available, her Evil Plan becomes 
   more and more technically feasible.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan at>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  ||
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           ||
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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