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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Laurent Guerby <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Jan 1998 17:30:27 +0100
text/plain (40 lines)
> PA = proprietary package A
> GB = standard GPL package B
> GD = package D under the "GNAT special exception"

   [very clear explanation deleted]

> Now if GD was modified for this program, the GNAT special exception does
> not completely exempt the modified GD from the GPL.  So that could be an
> inconvenience.  The special exception allows the company to preserve their
> rights to their own code, but distributing their program still requires
> them to "allow" people to get the modified GD source.

   Yes, of course but if you don't want people to commercialize a
   fully proprietary version of your library after having changed one
   space, this restriction is essential!

   Just imagine the following situation:

   1. You have a wonderful library which license doesn't have this

   2. It doesn't work on Windows NT because of stange NT stuff and
      nobody you know can sort this out even after huge efforts.

   3. Company Z has good NT support, find out how to make it work and
      sell your library to everyone for a fee (even a copying-like one
      just as people do for the RedHat distribution) without source.

   4. Guess what, you'll *never* know how to provide your "free"
      library working on NT to your friends. Too bad for the free
      software world.

   If you want people to be able to commercialize your library without
   guaranteeing the freedom (without providing the sources), don't
   worry about license at all, use public domain.

Laurent Guerby <[log in to unmask]>, Ada Core Technologies Europe.
   "Use the Source, Luke. The Source will be with you, always (GPL)."