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gcc uses a special library (outside of the C library) called libgcc with some builtin functions (I don't recall what's left there these days -- floating point stuff, 64-bit long long support on non-64 bit platforms?)

That library -- per definition part of GCC -- had to be explicitly made exempt from gcc's GPL license: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gcc-exception.html otherwise yes, all your compiled code would have to be distributed using GPL.

For a long while RMS blocked adding plugins to gcc because he though that would allow proprietary vendors to violate the spirit of GPL.

I'd expect other languages that compile to binary code to fare even worse here -- gcc is better at separating its helper library -- but I'm not sure what other compilers than gcc are GPL'ed.

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