Re: Move to LGPL3

>  This is open to interpretation - but the exact wording of the license does
> not necessarily match the legal rights a person has in terms of copyright
> law, and the ability for a copyright to limit the use of the product. In my
> opinion, the "special exception" is not part of the license, but stating the
> obvious. I don't believe the GPL can stop me from linking with non-GPL
> software, as long as I don't distribute my change as a derived work.
> Copyright law is about distribution rights.

Indeed it is. But I, an application vendor, shipping an EXE of GPL'd
licensed software (let's call this product "AbiWord") that's linked to
the Microsoft C runtime is most certainly a "distribution". And it
most certainly is a derivative work of the MSFT C runtime. The GPL
says that, in this case, I'm only responsible for providing you the
source code to my application, and not the source to the MSVCRT.

The GPL (and not only the MSFT EULA license, as you claim) can and
indeed does dictate if and how you can derive from another work *if
you choose to distribute the resulting work.* That's why the GPL
"compatibility matrix" exists, why there are 20 implementations of
SSH, and why we're having this LGPL 3 discussion.

The GPL's exception clause isn't superfluous, as you claim. It doesn't
mention you linking something on your own machine without distributing
it. You're correct - as a distribution-based license, it doesn't have
to. The clause is directly targeted at the distribution of Free
software works on non-Free operating systems.

So yes, this exception is important and necessary, it is a special
case, and it does (without mentioning Microsoft specifically) address
the case of whether you can use Microsoft's APIs in your GPL'd


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