Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Frank Heckenbach frank at g-n-u.de
Wed Mar 23 19:30:06 UTC 2005

Laurence Finston wrote:

> On Wed, 23 Mar 2005, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> > Not sure if I understand you correctly, but if "the Program" uses the
> > library, then the library is part of "the Program", and as such the
> > whole thing must fall under the GNU GPL[0], since "You must cause any
> > work that you distribute or publish, [...], to be licensed as a whole
> > at no charge to all third aprties under the terms of this License".
> I don't think so.  For example, my package uses GNU Bison and
> I include a Bison input file in my sources.  If I choose, I can
> distribute Bison with my package, since its license permits me to
> do so.  It doesn't matter that both my package and Bison are licensed
> under the GPL;  I could do the same with a package with a different
> license, if the license permitted me to redistribute the package.
> This doesn't make Bison part of my package or my package part of Bison.

It makes a part of Bison, namely it's parsing code that it copied
almost literally, part of your package. Bison contains a special
exception to allow linking of it's output (LALR(1) only, up to now)
with non-GPL programs. This was discussed very recently on
help-bison, so you might have been aware of this, BTW. So you can't
generalize from Bison to other packages that don't have such an


Frank Heckenbach, frank at g-n-u.de
GnuPG and PGP keys: http://fjf.gnu.de/plan (7977168E)

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