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Re: GPL and other licences

From: Isaac
Subject: Re: GPL and other licences
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 18:10:29 -0600
User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)

On Wed, 01 Feb 2006 16:03:16 +0100, Alfred M. Szmidt <> wrote:
>    > This boils down to: Can you break the law at home?  Of course you
>    > can't.  So the same applies to the GPL.  Since you cannot mix two
>    > incompatible licenses legally, then you cannot do this in the privacy
>    > of your own internal use.  It would in the end still be a violation of
>    > copyright law.
>    No it does not quite boil down to that.  What it boils down to is
>    whether the GPL grants permission to so mix the software at home as
>    long as you do not distribute the combination.
> It does boil down to that, you are still violating the license, and in
> turn copyright law.  Just that nobody knows of it so nobody can sue
> you.

The license allows you to do what I've described.  Making derivative
works with permission is not copyright infringement.
>    Looking at the GPL, it seems to me that modifying GPL software and
>    not distributing it merely requires providing some notices in the
>    software.  Unless the non GPLed software has some usage restriction
>    that prevents you modifying or combining the other code with GPL
>    software, I believe that the GPL allows you to combine or modify as
>    you like on your own system for your own use.  In fact, you could
>    use the combination internally within a single business
>    organization as doing so does not constitute distribution.
>    No significant GPL restriction kicks in until you try to distribute
>    your combination.
> And if you use it internally in a business then you are distributing
> the program to anyone who uses it.

Your statement differs from what the FSF has said.

> You are asking if you can break the law as long as nobody knows about
> it, or if only a selected few know about it.  Sorry, this isn't how
> law works.

I'm not asking anything.  I'm describing what the license says.


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