Appendix F The GNU Project.
GNU Pascal is part of the GNU project which was founded by Richard
Stallman in 1984. The aim of the GNU project is to provide a
complete operating system with editors, compilers etc. as
People often confuse Free Software with
public domain software or have other wrong information about
the GNU project. If you want to know it definitely, please read the
GNU General Public License.
For even more information, please consult the official GNU
home page of the Free Software Foundation (FSF),
http://www.gnu.org/ or one of its mirror sites.
Some small notes about common misunderstandings follow.
- It is legal to compile commercial, including non-free,
programs written in Pascal with GNU Pascal. They do not
automatically become Free Software themselves.
- “Free” is opposed to “proprietary”, but not opposed
to “commercial”. Free Softare can be – and is in fact –
distributed commercially for a real price. In contrast, most
non-commercial software does not meet
the open source criteria
and thus does not qualify as Free Software.
- When you modify a free program released under the
GNU General Public License,
e.g. the GNU Pascal compiler itself:
Please note: These are informal explanations which should
not be construed as legal advice. The legally binding text is only
the text contained in the license statement.
- You can released and license your own modifications (as a
separate entity) any way you like.
- If you distribute or publish the whole work with your
modifications, including or derived from GPL licensed parts, the
whole work (including your modifications) must be licensed under the
terms of the GPL. (Note: This does not contradict the previous point
since you can license your work in several ways.)
- You do not have to distribute or publish the whole work at
all. In this case the question of license of the whole work does not
- When using libraries for writing proprietary programs, check
the libraries' licenses carefully. The
GNU Lesser General Public License
allows linking a library to non-free software under certain
conditions, the ordinary GNU General Public License does not.
- It is legal to charge a fee for distributing Free Software. If
somebody sold you a copy of GNU Pascal you could have got without
paying for it as well, that's in agreement with the GNU
General Public License.
- However if somebody wants you to sign an agreement that you
won't re-distribute the Free Software you have got, it would be
illegal. That person would lose the right to use and distribute that
- The preferred form to distribute Free Software is in source
code. This ensures that everybody has the freedom to customize the
software or to fix bugs by themselves. When we also distribute GNU
Pascal binaries we do it only to simplify installation and to
encourage its use.