How To Break The GPL

Mike Eisler mre at
Sat Mar 4 02:04:17 UTC 2000

> This is probably the most legally controversial part of the GPL.  It's
> difficult to say whether or not a program which uses a library is a
> derived work of that library.  If I were a judge (and IANAL so this is
> unlikely to say the least), I would probably decide on a case-by-case
> basis.

What if Alice writes a DBMS and compiles it on Linux. She'd
like to distribute the binary only for charge. However, one of
the libraries in Linux was written by tret, and GPLed. 

Of course,  Big DMBS, Inc. has done the same thing.

Trent can't afford to take on Big DBMS, but Alice's pockets aren't very
deep, and so Trent sues, and bankrupts Alice. 


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