[License-discuss] Making the PHP FAQ generic

Luis Villa luis at tieguy.org
Fri Dec 7 21:37:16 UTC 2012

On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> Are restrictions on the *use* or *results* of proprietary compilers
> consistent with generating open source programs in that language? Can the
> copying of binary code into an executable by the compiler itself affect the
> license on that executable?
> I have heard people ask if running a GPL compiler that includes GPL
> libraries into a resulting program creates a GPL obligation for the
> resulting program. I hope not!

I'd prefer to keep that issue out of this FAQ entry, both because (1)
as far as I know, it is actually only an issue for gcc and (2) the
answer is really independent of whether or not this is done by the
compiler; i.e., the FSF's reasons for believing a gcc exception is
needed are the same reasons they think GPL is applicable to any
library, and Larry's reasons for believing no obligation is created by
the compiler scenario are the same as for other libraries.

Thanks for putting this together, Ben! I agree with all of Karl's

Note that these pages are generated by Drupal, not static HTML, so the
patch isn't necessary (or rather, can't be applied). If you have a few
minutes to incorporate Karl's suggestions, just send plain text of the
next revision and one of us will put it into the HTML. Thanks!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Fontana [mailto:rfontana at redhat.com]
> Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 11:13 AM
> To: Karl Fogel; license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Making the PHP FAQ generic
> On Fri, Dec 07, 2012 at 01:07:23PM -0600, Karl Fogel wrote:
>> Also, it might good to talk about implementations of languages being
>> open source, rather than the languages themselves.  It's a bit
>> pedantic, but I think it can be worded naturally, and it would
>> emphasize the conceptual cut one has to make to really understand the
>> answer.  If you compile your C program with Borland's C compiler, that
>> doesn't make your program closed-source; by the same token, if you run
>> your Python program on the most widely-used implementation of Python,
>> which is open source, that doesn't make your code open source by default.
>> People who ask that question may think they're asking about the
>> language, but they're really asking about the particular language
>> implementation.  This should be made clear to them in the answer.
> +1. I encounter a surprising amount of confusion about this point.
>  - Richard
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