GPL vs BSD Licence

Phil Schulz ph.schulz at
Fri Oct 29 02:52:30 PDT 2004

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: David Schwartz [mailto:davids at]
> > Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 6:15 PM
> > To: chat at
> > Cc: TM4525 at; tedm at
> > Subject: RE: GPL vs BSD Licence
> > 
> > >  But then, I'm not sure (and I mean it) if there can be any piece of
> > > software which, if designed for e.g. Linux, can be written w/o using any
> > > system headers, libraries or whatsoever.
> >
> >  You can do this with only moderate difficulty and moderate
> > inefficiency if you want to. All you have to do is:
> >
> >      1) Define your own kernel interface that your proprietary
> >         module will use.
> >
> >      2) Implement this interface in a kernel module that is GPL.
> >
> >      3) Distribute your proprietary module such that it uses only
> >         your own interface.
> >
> >  This way, your module need only use your own headers, which
> > you distribute under the GPL as well as other licenses.
> The GPL and Linux don't care if you link into their system libraries,
> they expect that which is why the system libraries are LGPLd
> What they care about is linking into libraries (like readline) which
> they consider "their" work.  If you do it, regardless of whether you
> use those library headers or use a translation think like you are
> outlining here, you must GPL your stuff.
> The contamination comes from linking in, even dynamically, not from
> just using ascii source files.
> Ted

  So I cannot use GPL'ed (vs LGPL'ed) library for software w/o placing 
the result under the GPL?
  I think I'm realizing once again that I don't fully get the GNU 
interpretation of "free". To me, "free" means more sth like "here, take 
it and do what you want w/ it, but don't bother me if you screw up" 
which is why I favour BSD-style licensed software.

Kind regards,


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