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Re: Licensing terms

On Wed, Aug 01, 2001 at 10:37:07AM -0400, Clark, Matthew C (FL51) wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Corinna Vinschen []
>> Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 9:17 AM
>> To: Clark, Matthew C (FL51)
>> Cc:
>> Subject: Re: Licensing terms
>> Basically you'll have to release the sources of applications linked
>> against Cygwin. Except when
>> - you never release the application since you're using it only
>>   internally in your office or so. That's the trivial case.
>> - you purchase a special Cygwin license from Red Hat. For a
>>   one time fee per project you may distribute also proprietary
>>   software linked against Cygwin.
>>   Visit for more
>>   information.
>Ok, thanks for the info.  Now for the follow-up.  Say I build a 
>archive library, my_lib.a, based entirely on my own source code
>and does NOT link in a GPL library, eg libcygwin.a, though it
>does #include standard templates.
>ie, gcc -c biff.c ; gcc -c bob.c ; ar -o my_lib.a biff.o bob.o  
>First, does my_lib.a fall under GPL? 

I don't think that the explanations given here have been completely
correct.  If you provide the sources to your application under the GPL
you don't need to provide sources to cygwin, too.  Check out the licensing
terms at

If your library uses no cygwin imports like (strchr, strcpy, etc.) then
the GPL doesn't apply.  You can verify this with the nm command.  If you
have undefined symbols then you haven't isolated your library from cygwin.

Regardless, if the end user links with gcc under cygwin, they *will* be
using the cygwin DLL.  Their sources will be GPLed.

If you don't want to use cygwin, then use -mno-cygwin.


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