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Jacob Sparre Andersen <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 23 Feb 2001 10:06:30 +0100
TEXT/PLAIN (64 lines)
[ I am a scientist, not a lawyer, but I will try to answer anyway ]


> I'd be curious about the GPL and the Gnat version in three cases:
> 1) I decide to sell a large, complex system, which needs the source
>    from one of the Gnat utility packages.  If I include that source
>    on the CDROM (say) does the whole thing need to be GPLed?

That depends on what you mean by "need", but generally
nobody care much about where you put the source code. It is
- generally - binaries that matter.

If you by "GNAT utility packages" refers to a part of the
standard libraries, then it is code covered by the GNAT
version of the LGPL. It allows you to create and distribute
your own programs under any license you like, but of course
with the LGPL'ed code still under the LGPL.

It doesn't matter where you put the source code. What
matters is how you use it. IIRC the (L)GPL is very clear
about this.

> 2) As above, but instead of including the Gnat source module, the
>    readme contains instructions for downloading it with Gnat.  Is my
>    CDROM now free from GPL requirements?
> 3) Like (1), but I offer a package of two CDROMS: one contains my
>    code, and is copyright, not GPLed, by me, which the second CDROM
>    is a copy of all, or just the part my system uses, of Gnat,
>    with the usual license on the Gnat CDROM.
> 4) The above three scenarios, but this time I use a lot of Gnat
>    routines in source form, and the actual new code I add is
>    rather small.

> My impression is that the answers are

Assuming that we are discussing GNAT-LGPL'ed code...

> 1)yes, it's all GPLed,

Wrong. The LGPL'ed file is LGPL'ed. The rest isn't (unless
you decide that it should be so).

> 2) my CDROM is free from GPL requirements,

Of course.

> 3) I don't know, and the answers to

Packaging doesn't matter. Use does.

> 4) are the same, ie, the size of my added contribution
> doesn't matter.

Unless we go to the extreme, where the LGPL covered part is
so small that it can not be claimed to be a "work", you are
correct that the size of your contribution doesn't matter.


"The universe isn't for the likes of me to understand. I only work here."