[Haskell-cafe] Announce: Haskell Platform 8.6.5 (Gershom B) - clarification

Arian van Putten aeroboy94 at gmail.com
Tue May 21 16:53:59 UTC 2019

For some reason your mail seems to miss the rest of the thread so I have no
idea what had been said before do maybe I am repeating something that was
already said.

GHC doesn't produce statically linked binaries by default.  So they are
dynamically linked against libgmp, libc and libz, not statically.   The
issue you linked is about the fact that it would be best to replace libgmp
such that we can _allow_ static linking without licensing issues.  It does
not say we currently statically link. (You can reaffirm this by running ld
on a GHC produced binary)

On Tue, May 21, 2019, 11:54 Pierre_van_der_Laar (Functional Account) via
Haskell-Cafe <haskell-cafe at haskell.org> wrote:

> Dear All,
> The license issue can be summarized as follows:
> Whenever a program is compiled with GHC and is distributed on another
> platform than OS X,
> anybody can claim that the source code of that program must be provided
> due to the LGPL license,
> since integer-gmp, the ghc code, and that program's code are statically
> linked!
> Not convinced? Read e.g.
> https://gitlab.haskell.org/ghc/ghc/wikis/replacing-gmp-notes that
> discussed both the LGPL license and the usage of static libraries by GHC.
> For convenience, I have include the most relevant parts:
> ```
> GMP is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), a kind
> of "copyleft" license. According to the terms of the LGPL, paragraph 5, you
> may distribute a program that is designed to be compiled and dynamically
> linked with the library under the terms of your choice (i.e., commercially)
> but if your program incorporates portions of the library, if it is linked
> statically, then your program is a "derivative"--a "work based on the
> library"--and according to paragraph 2, section c, you "must cause the
> whole of the work to be licensed" under the terms of the LGPL (including
> for free).
> The LGPL licensing for GMP is a problem for the overall licensing of
> binary programs compiled with GHC because most distributions (and builds)
> of GHC use static libraries. (Dynamic libraries are currently distributed
> only for OS X.) The LGPL licensing situation may be worse: even though The
> Glasgow Haskell Compiler License is essentially a "free software" license
> (BSD3), according to paragraph 2 of the LGPL, GHC must be distributed under
> the terms of the LGPL!
> ```
> So the problem is real and seems to be underestimated by the Haskell user
> community based on the many (partly) incorrect responses on this mailing
> list.
> I still would like to know what GHC's strategy is to tackle this problem!
> Greetings,
>    Pierre
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