Python 2.0.1c1 - GPL-compatible release candidate

Will Ware wware at
Fri Jun 15 06:51:21 CEST 2001

Guido van Rossum (guido at wrote:
> With a sigh of relief I announce Python 2.0.1c1 -- the first Python
> release in a long time whose license is fully compatible with the GPL

Congratulations to you and to Moshe! I know this has been something
you've wanted to do for a while.

Just to make sure I understand the way GPL coverage extends to derived
works, here is what I think is true.

Python scripts and programs are not derived works, and are only GPL-ware
if their author or copyright holder declares them to be so.

C extensions (the kinds of things I get by cutting and pasting from
xxmodule.c and xxobject.c) *are* derived works, and the GPL coverage
of 2.0.1 would therefore cover them as well, should I choose to
distribute them.

One thing I don't know is whether *any* C extensions to 2.0.1 would be
derived works. If I'm such a Python-extension-writing guru that I don't
need to cut and paste from xxobject.c and xxmodule.c, then it seems
unlikely my extensions would be derived works, especially if they are
legacy things from one of the pre-GPL Python versions. The same would
be true of SWIG-generated extensions, I would imagine.

But the GPL extends its coverage not only to derived works in the obvious
sense, but also to code which is statically linked with a GPL program.
If my extensions are statically linked to 2.0.1, then by that criterion
they would also be GPL-ware.

I don't know if the same is true of dynamically-linked extensions.

Have I got any of that right, or should I go back on my meds now?

 22nd century: Esperanto, geodesic | Will Ware
 domes, hovercrafts, metric system | wware at

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