OSD modification regarding what license can require of user

Emiliano emile at iris-advies.nl
Fri Mar 15 17:00:29 UTC 2002

Richard Stallman wrote:

>     A simple example: it is totally trivial on Windows to build a 'service'
>     from a DLL, exposing its entire interface. This would be running as a
>     separate executable, but would look like a regular library to any
>     windows program.
> The FSF's position is that the GPL applies to any programs which are
> designed to link with that DLL, that this is legally equivalent to
> statically linking them.

OK: it is equally simple to expose the same functionality under a
totally different API. For any GPL dll I find, it would take me all of
30-60 minutes to generate a 'server' that calls the DLL for me; my apps
connecting to this 'proxy' would talk to this proxy API, which is
drop-dead simple under windows. To what extent can these apps be said to
be designed to link to this DLL?

And what if I build an alternate implementation of this proxy API which
does a faux implementation of this proxy API (or just a really crappy
one slapped together during lunch)? I could then claim that my
program is designed to link to 'whichever windows service implementing
this API', and what do you know, there's 'several' of them available,
_both_ GPLed. And my app using them doesn't need to be.


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