Cygwin license

Steve Morris
Tue Mar 16 15:00:00 GMT 1999

Fergus Henderson writes:
 > On 16-Mar-1999, DJ Delorie <> wrote:
 > > 
 > > [no attribution, but I think it was]
 > > > I have seldom found RMS's thoughts to be compelling. You always have
 > > > to take his adgenda into account and his adgenda is quite complex. I
 > > > do suspect that without LGPL gcc would be a minor player.
 > > 
 > > Nothing about gcc is LGPL.
 > Yes, misspoke slightly, gcc is not LGPL.  But libgcc.a
 > is "GPL + special exceptions", the consequences of which are broadly
 > similar to LGPL, and I strongly suspect that without those special
 > exceptions, the same conclusion would hold.

Yes libgcc.a was what I ment. It is my recollection that LGPL was
originally invented for this library but I'll take your word for it. I
was there when these things were originally being discussed but my
memory is terrible.

If this is true I think we should stop talking about LGPL and talk
about a special exception only for the glue that allows a program to
run in the cygwin.dll environment. How about a special exception only
for people that want to provide cygwin interoperable binaries merely
as a service without the GPL burden of that glue. Make it a free
software exception for people not selling software. That would cover
Sergeys coolview and inetd, and the wide variety of binaries provided
by other helpful people, Andy Piper etc.. Cygnus is clearly looking
the other way on these already which means they agree with the spirit
of the suggestion. Cygnus is obviously well aware of these binary
distributions since their existance is discussed on this list.

There has to be a way of legally allowing people to give binaries away
while still charging the people selling commercial packages.

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