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You are here: Home FSF News GCC Libraries Get Updated License Exception

GCC Libraries Get Updated License Exception

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Jan 27, 2009 12:40 PM
A new license exception will allow the entire GCC codebase to be upgraded to GPLv3, and enable the development of a plugin framework for GCC.

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Tuesday, January 27, 2009 -- Today the Free Software Foundation (FSF), together with the GCC Steering Committee and the Software Freedom Law Center, announced the release of a new GCC Runtime Library Exception. This license exception will allow the entire GCC codebase to be upgraded to GPLv3, and enable the development of a plugin framework for GCC.

"GCC includes runtime libraries that are automatically built into all the object code that GCC creates," explained Brett Smith, license compliance engineer at the FSF. "Because we decided a long time ago to allow developers to compile proprietary software with GCC, these libraries have always had license exceptions. This way, programs that are merely compiled with GCC don't have to be released under the GPL."

The license exceptions on those runtime libraries are being updated. The new exception is built on top of GPLv3, so the libraries can be upgraded to the latest version of the license. It also paves the way for GCC to add a plugin architecture, by adding new protections against extending GCC with proprietary software.

The text of the exception is available. The FSF has also published a rationale document and FAQ to help users understand the exception better.

Media Contacts

Brett Smith
License Compliance Engineer
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x18
brett@fsf.org

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