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By Jonathan Corbet
January 27, 2009
As described in Plugging into GCC last October, the runtime library code used by the GCC compiler (which implements much of the basic functionality that individual languages need for most programs) has long carried a license exemption allowing it to be combined with proprietary software. In response to the introduction of version 3 of the GPL and the desire to add a plugin infrastructure to GCC, the FSF has now announced that the licensing of the GCC runtime code has changed. The FSF wishes to modernize this bit of licensing code while, simultaneously, using it as a defense against the distribution of proprietary GCC plugins.

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