How To Break The GPL

Schilling, Richard RSchilling at
Sat Mar 4 00:55:42 UTC 2000

Mark Wells wrote:
>	Alice didn't distribute any actual GPL'd software with her
>	code.  Are you saying that the GPL prohibits the _use_ of GPL
software in
>	development of proprietary software?  So I can't use, say, GCC to
>	my non-GPL program?

>	This is an interesting interpretation, but I'm not sure it's legally
>	valid.

Gcc and other GPL tools:

Those tools process data and create output based on the data. I believe this
is different than modifying the tool itself.  If a compiler's/tool's maker
were to copyright its output, we might all be writing Windows applications
for Microsoft . . . someone kill me on that day . . . >8^o

Windows DLL files, etc. . .

These types of files, I've noticed are identified by Microsoft in the
license as being "redistributable".  That is, a program developed to use
those libraries may be distributed with those libraries.  Microsoft grants
you the ability to do this when you purchase their development tools.  I
also believe that Microsoft sells this right to other manufacturers of
development tools.  

The Open Source kernel manufacturers would, I think actually be subject to
copyright laws conserning the machine instructions of the microprocessor.
And as we all know, AMD showed the world that Intel cannot copyright it's
instruction set.

Richard Schilling
Lake Stevens, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Wells [mailto:mark at]
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2000 11:47 AM
To: Forrest J. Cavalier III
Cc: license-discuss at
Subject: Re: How To Break The GPL

On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, Forrest J. Cavalier III wrote:

> > I would very much like to hear that there is a flaw in this logic.  If
> > where is it?
> In my understanding, Alice must not have used the GPL'ed software
> in her design and testing.  It would be very hard to avoid this
> in practice. Claiming to have avoided it, and still distributing
> instructions for Bob to do it, should be regarded with grave
> suspicion.

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