[techtalk] GPL Questions

Steve Kudlak chromexa at ovis.net
Fri Nov 12 07:51:57 EST 1999

Kelly Lynn Martin wrote:

> On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 09:50:09 -0600, Stephan Zaniolo <eaglefeather at mindspring.com> said:
> >I'm >interested in licensing these under the terms of the GPL, but I
> >remember hearing somewhere that Java is not a "free" language and
> >therefore can't be licensed under the GPL.
> As far as I know, there is no legal merit to this contention.  You can
> at least license the source code under the GPL.  Java doesn't generate
> linked executables so there's no concern about distributing a derived
> work containing GPL and non-GPL components.  Bytecompiling probably
> does not commingle works -- compilation idioms are probably not
> copyrightable on their own.
> >I understand
> >that the GPL has the "virus-like" quality that if any part of a GPLed
> >program is used in another program, it must also be licensed under
> >the GPL.
> That's technically inaccurate.  If you derive a program from GPL code,
> then the derived program must, _if distributed_, be distributed
> consistent with the GPL.  You don't _have_ to license it to anyone if
> you don't want to. :)
> The mere communication of one program with another is not sufficient
> to constitute "combination" for the virus-like aspect of the GPL.
> The foregoing is not legal advice.  For legal advice, please consult
> an attorney.
> Kelly
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