[sword-devel] Information for beginning Windows BCB 6 Developers

Jeremy Erickson jerickson314 at users.sourceforge.net
Tue Apr 19 20:17:20 MST 2005

Chris Little wrote:
> Lynn is entirely correct. GPL specifically allows for system libraries.
> MFC is a system library, therefore allowed.

(Not surprisingly, I didn't happen to obtain a law degree within the past 5 
hours, so I'm still not a lawyer!)

My understanding from what I have read (even before my earlier post) is that 
the GPL allows linking with MFC, but that the Microsoft EULA does not allow 
linking with anything copylefted.  Just as the GPL doesn't allow linking from 
proprietary programs (it would be invalid to add an exception to a 
proprietary license saying, "You are allowed to link this with Sword from 
Crosswire"), the relevant license agreement from Microsoft doesn't allow 
linking MFC with code under the GPL or any other copyleft license.  The 
clause to this effect seems only to occur in the EULA with recent releases.  
Not being a lawyer, I can't tell for sure whether the EULA actually bans 
this.  The "(or any derivative works thereof)" part from what I sent seems it 
might, and the intent seems to be to avoid linking with copylefted software 
(those last restrictions seem to target copyleft quite directly).

In addition there is a section above what I mentioned before stating,

"If you are authorized and choose to redistribute Sample Code or 
Redistributable Code (collectively, the "Redistributables") as described in 
Section 2, you agree: (i) except as otherwise noted in Section 2.1 (Sample 
Code) to distribute the Redistributables only in object code form and in 
conjunction with and as a part of a software application product developed by 
you that adds significant and primary functionality to the Redistributables 
("Licensee Software"); (ii) that the Redistributables only operate in 
conjunction with Microsoft Windows platforms; (iii) to distribute the 
Licensee Software containing the Redistributables pursuant to an end user 
license agreement (which may be "break-the-seal", "click-wrap" or signed), 
with terms no less protective than those contained in this EULA;"

Term "i" says that the developed application is included in the term "Licensee 
Software", and term "iii" says that the Licensee Software must be under a 
contract-based license agreement (direct contradiction to GPL section 5).  
Then again, it looks like this might only be the case if the MFC dlls are 
distributed with the app.

I would hope this is a non-issue and that I am misunderstanding the license, 
but knowing Microsoft...

Relevant threads from other lists/forums on this topic I have seen include:

(in particular see 

(Most of the EULA talk is actually on page 2 and 3)

-Jeremy Erickson

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