[Kaffe] can the classpath project be used with Kaffe.

Jules Bean jmlb2 at hermes.cam.ac.uk
Wed Feb 10 00:47:11 PST 1999

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Alex Nicolaou wrote:
> I can't find any language in the GPL to support your contention that
> "parts of it may have been released under more permissive licenses".
> While that may be true (LGPL code as an example) the GPL is very
> explicit that code shipped with GPL code must all be under GPL. Where's
> the exception you are talking about?

This is one of the most contentious points in the GPL.

The precise wording in this section of the GPL is:

    b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.

(That was paragraph 2)

The interpretation which is most commonly made of this paragraph is that
'under the terms of this License' does not mean that the work as a whole
is entirely GPL'ed.  It means that you must distribute the work as a whole
in a way which gives people only those rights given under the GPL, and
makes all those restrictions under the GPL.

It does not mean, in fact, that any "identifiable sections of that work
are not derived from the Program" cannot be 're-extracted' and then
distributed under their own terms.

So, concretely, what this means is this:

[In the following example, I will be ignoring the so-called 'system
libraries' exception, since it's not often relevant]

I can take code licensed under the X license, (which is virtually public
domain) and add to it code licensed under the GPL, creating a combined
work.  This combined work I distribute under the GPL.  This does not in
fact mean that the copyright has changed on the X code (I can't do that,
without explicit permission).  However, you will observe that by
distributing to you the combined work under the GPL, I have not violated
the terms of the X license.  There is no permission I have given you
under the GPL which I am not permitted by the X license.  The restrictions
which I have imposed on you under the GPL do not, per se, apply to the X
code to the extent that it is a separate work (for you can separate it,
and use its original license), but they do apply do the work as a whole,
or any portion of the work as a whole which contains, or is derived from,
my work, or the work of the original GPL author.

That probably makes it less clear, but that's how I understand the


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