[License-discuss] Making the PHP FAQ generic

Chuck Swiger chuck at codefab.com
Fri Dec 7 21:58:55 UTC 2012

On Dec 7, 2012, at 1:26 PM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> Are restrictions on the *use* or *results* of proprietary compilers
> consistent with generating open source programs in that language?

No.  However, compilation by itself is a mechanical task which performs no
creative transformation.

> Can the copying of binary code into an executable by the compiler itself affect the
> license on that executable?

Sure.  If you link an executable against Oracle's client libraries to talk to
their database, that executable includes proprietary code which would need to
be appropriately licensed.

> 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!

The GPL provides an exception for their compiler runtime library which permits this:


Most or almost all other compilers also explicitly permit the use of the associated
compiler runtime libraries with software under arbitrary licenses.  End-users rarely
encounter this because most platforms already ship with working versions of the
compiler runtime and standard C/C++ libraries, and programs use dynamic linking to pull
those in rather than needing to statically link them into the executable. [1]


[1]: Folks using Windows probably encounter more dialogs about installing a flavor of the
"Microsoft Visual C/C++ redistributable libraries" than all other platforms combined.

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