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Re: Do I have to release the patch for a GPL software under GPL?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Do I have to release the patch for a GPL software under GPL?
Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 21:30:37 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Dancefire" <> writes:

> Well, we just put the discussion of whether the patch should be
> under GPL away. We just assume it is under GPL.
> So, now, at my current understanding, I can distribute the patch to
> another one, with/without commercial behavior. And I have the rights
> that I do not public the source code, the only thing I have to do is
> when I try to distribute the patched kernel I have to make the whole
> source code available to the receiver, and the patch is still under
> GPL. Right?
> And after I distribute the patched kernel, can the receiver public the
> patch?


> If yes, can I put a limit to public the patch?


> It's ok when we distribute the patched kernel with source code also
> available to which we want to distribute the patched
> kernel. However, make the patch public available is not our
> intention.

You can threaten your customer with whatever consequences you want,
except the law.  You can stop business with him, cancel any special
services or whatever.  But that's all.  Tell the customer that if he
doesn't exercise goodwill according to your needs, you won't either.

But the GPL rules out that you can go after him with the law behind

> We can and did contribute much code to open source community, but
> "much" doesn't mean "all", and should not *have to* be all.

"Should not"?  _You_ make use of _all_ of the contribution of some
author under the GPL, so why should you, as the creator of a tiny
patch, be allowed to demand better terms than the author of the main

You want to rip off some person's code for your own sake without
paying him.  If you don't like licensing a modification under the GPL,
contact the author and ask him for a different license for which you
are going to pay him reasonable royalties.

> In the real world, obviously, not everyone wants to make all the
> stuff to public.  So, there are some code in the real world will
> face the situation I described above.

Yes, that's why the GPL exists.  So that people don't consider ripping
off free code and making it proprietary.  Exactly to stop people from
that practice, the GPL has been written.

No, there is no way around it, since that is the _purpose_ of the

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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