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RE: [ba-unrev-talk] GPL? - Case-by-Case

Hmm, here's a blow by blow case by case based on my understanding.    (01)

-- Dennis    (02)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
[mailto:owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org]On Behalf Of Eric Armstrong
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 13:27
To: ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
Subject: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] GPL?    (03)

[ ... ]    (04)

  Label: Part of
  Situation: A GPL word processor and spreadsheet are available
                 separately, for free. An entrepreneur puts them both
                 together into a single downloadable package, and
                 charges for it.    (05)

<orcnote: Packaging.  The distro must carry the licenses still, and if the
distro is of just the binaries there must be some prominent way of knowing
that the source is available and how to get it.  Other than that, there is
nothing prohibited here in terms of the GPL.  It is a redistribution, with
packaging. />    (06)

   Label: Part of, with improvements
   Situation: As above, only the entrepreneur uses the keystroke
                  definition facility to create a common interface for the
                  individual packages.    (07)

<orcnote: The question is whether or not the definitions, macros, scripts or
whatever constitute a derivative work.  Then that would have to be GPL'd
too.  Prudent behavior: Just include the keystroke definitions and how it
was done in the bundle along with the licenses and links to the sources of
the bundled packages. />    (08)

    Label: Constructed with
    Situation: A GPL tree library is used in the construction of a
                   knowledge repository.    (09)

<orcnote: The output produced by the GNU version of CAT or MORE or MySQL is
not subject to the GPL.  However, if there were software that included the
library, and the library was GPLd and not LGPLd, there is an ostensible
claim that the product must be GPL'd.  Not the repository content, but the
repository software, just to be clear.  Prudent behavior: Avoid all doubt.
Use a different library or, if possible, negotiate a different license with
the copyright holder to permit incorporation in a proprietary solution. />    (010)

    Label: Constructed with, after modification
    Situation: A GPL tree library is heavily hacked and modified, and
                   then used in the construction of a knowledge repository.    (011)

<orcnote: Under either GPL or LGPL the hacked and modified tree library is a
derivative work and should be made available on that basis.  For impact on
the knowledge repository, see previous case,above. />    (012)

I don't see anything wrong with someone adding a charge, in these
scenarios. One can even see could that could come of it, in each
case. (In the first example, the ability to market the items could
greatly hasten the adoption curve.)    (013)

<orcnote: There is nothing to prevent charges.  However the GPL means the
purchasers are able to redistribute the GPL'd part, with source, without any
restriction by you. />    (014)

So I wonder what the GPL aficianados will have to say...    (015)

<orcnote: I don't know if I qualify here.  It is not my license of choice.
I have addressed what I believe the license requires, when used and when
GPL-licensed works are used and modified.  It is a different matter to ask a
GPL-adherent how they think software should be provided and what their
agendas are.  />    (016)

<orcnote: The key thing about the GPL as well as open-source license is that
it does not exercise any right that is not the exclusive right of a
copyright holder *already*.  If someone claims a valid copyright on a work,
you, even as an owner of a purchased copy, may not legally create a
derivative work without the express permission of the copyright holder.  The
GPL, and OSI-acceptable open-source licenses basically provide, in advance,
a non-exclusive, perpetual license to make derivative works under specific
conditions.  If you don't like the conditions, you are no worse off than
with any commercial package that you bought, as far as copyright is
concerned.  So what you need to get your head around is that it is already
unlawful to make derivative works of copyright-protected subject matter
without a license.  Although more than copyright is involved, read the
licenses that your nearest software company uses concerning, for example,
the reuse and redistribution of library code, of sample code provided with
compilers, etc. />    (017)

-- orcmid (who really loves this cyber-lawyer stuff)    (018)