Linking restrictions and shared libraries

Carter Bullard carter at
Tue Mar 13 03:51:57 UTC 2001

Has the GPL every taken anyone to court?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Johnson [mailto:david at]
> Sent: Monday, March 12, 2001 2:47 PM
> To: Dr. David Gilbert; license-discuss at
> Subject: Re: Linking restrictions and shared libraries
> On Monday March 12 2001 12:18 pm, Dr. David Gilbert wrote:
> > What I am unclear of is shared libraries; is there 
> something actually
> > copied into the result as part of the linking stage?  If I 
> was to rewrite
> > a header for a GPL library so that I didn't make use of the 
> GPLd header
> > could I then shared link it into a commercial app?
> I've come to the conclusion that absent a specific court 
> decision on this 
> specific matter, it doesn't matter a hill of beans what the 
> law says, only 
> what RMS says. If he says that using dynamic libraries 
> creates derivates of 
> those libraries, then that's the way it is, gosh darn it! He 
> could say that 
> black is white, and absent a court decision, he could very 
> well be "legally" 
> correct.
> Cynicism aside, I am a reductionist by nature. If the definition of 
> "derivative work" is too vague in copyright law, then I go 
> for a stricter 
> interpretation. RMS, on the other had, is a constructionist 
> by nature, and 
> takes a much broader interpretation of the vagueness.
> In the end, it all boils down to whether you want to be the 
> one challenging 
> the GPL in court or not.
> -- 
> David Johnson
> ___________________
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