How To Break The GPL

Ken Arromdee arromdee at
Fri Mar 3 20:42:16 UTC 2000

On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, John Cowan wrote:
> > The FSF takes the position that if you distribute software that can only be
> > run by linking it with something GPLed, your software is a derivative work of
> > the GPLed software even if you don't include any parts of it.
> What if there were a non-GPL and a GPL implementation written to the same
> interface definition?

The FSF's position, as far as I know, is that if there exist two
implementations, and one of them is not GPL, then the work can't be said to
be derivative of the GPL version.  It is only derivative if the GPL one is the
only possible one to link with.

GNU readline is probably the most infamous case of the FSF taking this

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