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Re: License question about Cygwin

> > As the Cygwin.dll is licensed under GPL, any "Program" that links to it
> > be released under GPL as well.
> Under section 10 of the GPL, if the "program" is OSD compatible then the
> "program" is not auto-GPL'd.

Actually section 10 of the GPL just states the following:

> 10. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Program into other free
programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the author to
ask for permission. For software which is copyrighted by the Free Software
Foundation, write to the Free Software Foundation; we sometimes make
exceptions for this. Our decision will be guided by the two goals of
preserving the free status of all derivatives of our free software and of
promoting the sharing and reuse of software generally.

For the most part this section is just for information only.  As the owner
of a source code always has the rights to release code under a different
license and conditions, unless the owner has already surrendered those
rights to someone else.  Nothing in the GPL surrenders an owners rights...

The confusion comes because RedHat has granted a general exception for all
OSD programs to link to Cygwin.dll.  RedHat refers to this as a "section 10

An example of a completely different section 10 exception.  LizardTech, Inc.
granted under section 10 of the GPL permissions to link to all versions of
QT, regardless of whether they are OSD.

> > Does that mean that even if I publish all of my source code, I would
> > be violating the GPL because I couldn't publish the source code to the
> > proprietary libraries.
> Yes.

The answer isn't quite that simple.  The correct answer, is that it depends
on the details of what you are doing.  I could go into more details, but
this topic has already been moderated once.  It would be inappropriate for
me to discuss it again on this list.

If you wish to discuss it privately, feel free to e-mail me directly at


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