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Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: The worst that can happen to GPLed code
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 09:23:07 +0200

On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 00:49:12 -0400 (Paul Jarc) wrote:

> Stefaan A Eeckels <> wrote:
> > Finally, why go against the stated wishes of the author
> > or copyright holder? It's not that using the GPL is some
> > kind of abomination that needs to be circumvented to keep
> > the Universe's moral balance intact, is it?
> If Alexander's view were to hold up in court, it wouldn't apply only
> to GPL'ed works.  It would apply to all works - in particular, we
> would be more free to make use of proprietary works (we think) we are
> now.

But as we don't have the source, it wouldn't allow
us to do much more that redistribute the odd DLL.
And, of course, the licenses used by the likes of
Microsoft stipulate quite clearly that no sale is
involved, so they wouldn't be affected at all...

> Also, proprietary vendors might be less afraid to tie their works to
> GPL'ed works, so free software could become more widespread.

It would mean that the GPL becomes like the BSDL, ie
that we would see products that incorporate (modified)
GPLed code, but without any source (either for the
GPLed work or the compilation). And if it were to remain
at compilations (ie. essentially unmodified works 
combined into a new one), the effect might be marginal
(as you say, more use would be made of GPLed code).
The moment that people will start making proprietary
modifications to GPLed works, there might be a lot of
collateral damage. There's no real value in having code
used in as many places as possible if the source is
unavailable, IMHO.

Finally, people who choose the GPL do so because they
like the ideas it stands for, and it would not be
unrealistic to fear a significant drop in people working
on GPLed software if the license lost its teeth.

Take care,

"What is stated clearly conceives easily."  -- Inspired sales droid

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