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Re: Add GPL compatibility check for plugins

Chris Lattner <> writes:

> On Jun 18, 2009, at 6:31 PM, Frank Ch. Eigler wrote:
>> Diego Novillo <> writes:
>>> On request from the FSF, I am adding this check.  When a plugin is
>>> loaded, the compiler checks whether the symbol
>>> plugin_is_GPL_compatible exists in the loaded shared object.  The
>>> presence of this symbol asserts that the loaded plugin has been
>>> licenced under a GPL-compatible license.  If the symbol does not
>>> exist, the compiler exits [...]
>> Doesn't this restriction violate "right #0" of free software, the
>> right to use the software for any purpose?
>> Being in possession of a non-GPL'd plugin in no way violates the GPL,
>> even if one accepts arguendo that a plugin can't possibly written
>> except having to be "derived" from GPL sources.  That's because, as we
>> all should know, the GPL only kicks on when *distributing* that code.
> Right.  The GCC license is actually apparently designed to explicitly
> support this.  Building with a non-gpl plugin is explicitly allowed.
> If you link to GCC's runtime libraries, use of a non-gpl plugin just
> makes the resultant app subject to the terms of the GPL.

Basically this means that if you want to use a non-GPL plugin, you have
to modify your copy of gcc.  The FSF release of gcc won't run a non-GPL
plugin, but of course nothing stops you from modifying the gcc sources.
In other words, right #0 is not violated, since nothing stops you from
doing whatever you want.

We'll see what the binary distributions do on this topic.


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