GPL, CDDL and derivative works
1 minute read

Ian Murdock writes a bit about OpenSolaris and the Nexenta people who are creating a GNU+Solaris based OS. He writes a bit about the fact that the Debian community hasn’t exactly embraced their efforts, but have rather been rude to them. A small thing caught my eye though:

It seems to me the argument that linking a GPL application to a CDDL library and asserting that that somehow makes the library a derivative work of the application is, to say the least, a stretch—not to mention the fact that we’re talking about libc here, a library with a highly standard interface that’s been implemented any number of times and, heck, that’s even older than the GPL itself.

It’s not so much that you make the library a derivative work of the application as that you are making the application (that is, the binary /usr/bin/dpkg or whatever you are linking) a derivative of both the dpkg source code as well as the libc binary) and this is problematic when the libc in question is under the CDDL and dpkg is under the GPL.

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