Sun's use of GPL and/or debian source

Alan DuBoff Alan DuBoff <>
Wed, 15 Aug 2001 00:43:04 -0700

Rick Moen wrote:

> Can you be more specific?  Is there a specific GPL provision you think
> is being controvened?

There is a provision that the code should not become interwoven with the
proprietary code, that GPL code is allowed to co-exist with proprietary code
as long as it is kept seperate, but that it shall not be interwoven.

I admit this is not the actual text, and you hold me to actual fact in a
situation like this Rick, so let's see if I can find it...<g>

"However, in many cases you can distribute the GPL-covered software alongside
your proprietary system. To do this validly, you must make sure that the free
and non-free programs communicate at arms length, that they are not combined
in a way that would make them effectively a single program."

Since some of the tools do in fact replace SYSVR4 equivilants with lesser
function, there is some grey area to me.

> Wait, are you saying they're complying with the licence, or are you
> saying they are _not_ complying with the licence?  Please elucidate.

No, I *suspect* that they are within compliance, because I believe Sun had
their legal weenies go over the GPL to figure out how they could legally use
the code on Solaris. I'm not faulting Sun specific, they've done quite a bit
for the open community, IMO, but there is grey area.

But I honestly do not know or I wouldn't have posted the message. It's odd to
see debian directories on Solaris...:-/


Alan DuBoff
Software Orchestration, Inc.