[Mono-list] The license problem

Brad Wilson dotnetguy@pobox.com
Fri, 24 May 2002 08:36:36 -0600

James Michael DuPont wrote:

> The question is of derived works, if you have to distribute the GCC as a
> dll to use your non-free program and it would not work without it, it
> might be considered a derived work... It is a grey area.

Let's face it: the GPL was written in a tightly coupled time. For Unix, the
move to .NET is a radical shift from the mostly tightly coupled world that
exists here. For most programs, you aren't going to be able to prove that it
was written for Mono or not, unless it leverages some piece of Mono-only
functionality. Toss in loose coupling on interfaces that Mono can't control
(and frankly doesn't want to), and you have a potentially serious ambiguity
in the enforcement of the license.

Most .NET applications are either going to ship with the MS .NET redist, or
with none at all (on the Internet, the latter is likely). As a software
developer, I can't control the fact that the end user wants to use my
application on Linux w/ Mono. The end-user created the linkage (and thus
violated the license), not me, but that's not really addressed because the
license assumes the idea of static, strong linkage.


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