What is Copyleft?

Dave J Woolley david.woolley at bts.co.uk
Thu Feb 22 20:27:36 UTC 2001

> From:	Ryan S. Dancey [SMTP:ryand at frpg.com]
> If I write a copyleft free program for Windows, I should be able to load
> and
> link at runtime to any DLL in the system, regardless of whether or not
> that
> DLL is free code or not, shouldn't I?  How else could a Windows program
> ever
	[DJW:]  My understanding is that the restrictions only apply
	to the distribution of code. They are designed to stop people
	distributing code which forces the recipient to have to pay
	for a licence to use a pre-requisite library (static or dynamic).

	If that is correct, you can write a program that is derived
	from copylefted code and load it and link it with any DLL you
	like, but you cannot give it to someone else if they cannot
	sensibly use it without first obtaining that DLL.

	The real borderline case is when you supply a token version of
	the library.  I seem to remember that this hinges on whether the
	full function of the copylefted code is accessible with that
	token library.


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