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Re: Cygwin Python Distribution GPL Licensing Issue?

Sorry for the sluggish response time, but tricycles take precedence over
licensing agreements... :,)

On Sun, Apr 22, 2001 at 02:59:41AM -0400, Tim Peters wrote:
> This is one for Jason:  When I execute the python.exe I get from Cygwin
> Setup, I'm pretty sure it's been linked against GNU readline.  Since readline
> is the FSF's GPL lightning rod, you probably want to change that (but, sorry,
> I don't know what you would need to do -- for obvious reasons, this isn't a
> problem in the Windows build!).

After digesting what Tim and DJ had to say on this matter, my
interpretation is that my Cygwin Python distribution is OK from the
Python and Cygwin licensing points of view.

However, Tim is correct that Cygwin Python's readline module:

links against the GNU readline library.  So, it seems like there may be
a GPL issue after all (with this one file).

<clutching at straws>
Although probably not relevant, I would like to point out that the
Cygwin GNU readline library is actually a DLL.  So, when Cygwin Python's
readline module links with GNU readline, it is really linking against
an import library and not a static library that contains code.  Hence,
AFAICT, my distribution does not contain GNU readline code -- just some
references to its code.
</clutching at straws>

Nevertheless, I am willing to remove this offending file from my
distribution, but I loath to do so.  Is this really necessary?  If so,
it will be ironic (and sad) that I will not be using (precisely) the
same distribution that I contribute to Cygwin.  Sigh...


Jason Tishler
Director, Software Engineering       Phone: +1 (732) 264-8770 x235
Dot Hill Systems Corp.               Fax:   +1 (732) 264-8798
82 Bethany Road, Suite 7             Email:
Hazlet, NJ 07730 USA                 WWW:

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