[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code

From: Per Abrahamsen
Subject: Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 08:55:09 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110002 (No Gnus v0.2) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Chris Jefferson <> writes:

> The reason for this is that they believe that really bad things can
> happen to GPLed code. Therefore I was hoping someone could tell me,
> what is the worst someone can do?

Some evil overlord could take the GPL'ed code and use it to run a
doomsday device that will convert all mass in the universe into
energy, thus killing all life and all potentiel for life now and for

This is why I always distribute my code under a "no evil overlord"
license, as evil overlords are known to respect interlectual property.

> Some example thoughts we had..
> 1) Someone could just take our source, remove all copyright notices
> from both the source and displayed when the app is run and put their
> own on
> 2) Someone could take our source, make minor alterations to it, and
> then redistribute it without admiting they'd changed it and leaving
> our copyright notices intact (both in source and in the help/about
> box), making it look like we wrote the evil version.
> Now, we realise that evil people could always just ignore the GPL,
> that isn't a fault of the GPL. But are these two things possible?

Of course.  Illegal, but possible.  Of course, they would be equally
illegal but possible with the "read the source but do not modify it"
licenses your friends prefer.

> Also, I notice that we must distribute the source in a version such
> that it can be compiled by the user. Does this mean:

If you own the code, you are not bound by the license.  I.e. you can
do whatever you want.

> 1) We have to distribute (if asked of course) a copy of the source of
> all libraries, even if they are publicly available (but not installed
> by default)

Other people who distribute binaries will have to also distribute
"Non-System" libraries that are linked with the binary.

> 2) We can't write code that depends on as it's compiler (say,
> not that we have any yet), as people wouldn't then be able to compile
> it themselves without buying

This would fall under the "special exception" in the GPL.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]