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Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code

From: Brian Gough
Subject: Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 17:42:48 -0000

Chris Jefferson <> writes:

> Also, let me point out that (I hope) I'm not a troll. I've just been 
> working on a project with some friends and we are now considering what 
> licence to release it under. I'd quite like the GPL, but a number of my 
> friends would perfer a "you can read the code, but you can't distribute 
> altered versions" style licence.


Both the scenarios you suggest would allow to you make a legal case
against someone.

Removing copyright notices is not permitted regardless of the license,
since you remain the copyright holder, and the GPL contains a clause
(2a) saying that anyone distributing modified versions "must cause the
modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the
files and the date of any change".

For more info, see

Whether or not you choose to use it, the GPL is well tested and it
also has the advantage that violators tend to be censured by the
community as a whole -- whereas if you go with a non-standard license
you are pretty much on your own.

Brian Gough

Network Theory Ltd,
Publishing Free Software Manuals ---

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