Cygwin & Microsoft's EULA, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions (fwd)

Dalibor Topic robilad at
Fri Jan 19 22:40:10 UTC 2007

Chuck Swiger <chuck <at>> writes:

> On Jan 19, 2007, at 5:11 AM, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> [ ...about Cygwin dynamically linking against Win32 DLL's... ]
> > Microsoft's Visual Studio EULA is not particularly relevant for  
> > Cygwin, since it
> > uses gcc to build, rather than Visual Studio.
> It doesn't matter which compiler the Cygwin folks use; Cygwin's  
> setup.exe dynamically links against:

> See that "msvcrt.dll"?  That's the Microsoft Visual C runtime....

MSVCRT.DLL is part of the Microsoft Windows OS, though, and as such covered by
the special exception in the GPLv2, i.e. it's not required to be licensed under
the GPL, be open source at all, etc., etc., etc., so the anti-open-source clause
of the Visual Studio EULA does not apply, afaict, both because the component in
question is not licensed via Visual Studio, in the first place, and because the
component's license is not implied by the GPL.

While I'd instantly buy a book a la "No Poetic License: Microsoft's End User
License Agreements As Contemporary Legalistic Dadaism", unfortunately, I don't
think Microsoft is going to write it. A shame, I think, and a huge loss to
literature criticism. :)

dalibor topic

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