Licensing of wrappers around C/C++ code under more restrictive licensing.

Paul Boddie paul at
Mon Mar 1 11:28:12 CET 2004

Paul Rubin <> wrote in message news:<7xsmgtqo23.fsf at>...

[Quoting someone else]

> > > The FSF peoples seem to have a different interpretation, as, last I
> > > heard, they suggest that software that links to any GPL software, even
> > > at run-time constitutes an infringement (regardless of your not having
> > > distributed the GPL code yourself, and the end-user having a perfectly
> > > valid license to link the two for personal use).

> "Andrew Koenig" <ark at> writes:
> > 
> > Can you provide evidence to support this claim?

The question is pretty vague, though: "Does the fact that I link with
your program mean I have to GPL my program?" What that could mean is
that in situations where such linking is certain to take place (ie.
where you also distribute the GPL'd program with the intent that the
two function together), you would need to provide your own program
under the GPL.

I don't believe that there's anything stopping anyone from releasing
their own program separately under their own choice of licence,
although it would be a decent compromise (if not virtually compulsory)
to mention your offer to license that program under the GPL in the
event that the user combines it with the GPL'd program in their own
environment. I'd certainly like to hear of a more substantial
rationale (plus precedents) which contradicts my interpretation.


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