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Re: GPL and inhouse use?

From: Byron A Jeff
Subject: Re: GPL and inhouse use?
Date: 14 May 2006 10:45:30 -0400

In article <>,
John Hasler  <> wrote:
>Eric writes:
>> If i start off with a copy of the 2.4 linux kernel downloaded from
>> and then modify it (a lot) and only use it "in house" and dont
>> release it (give away or sell) in any form to the general public or any
>> other entity outside my company, does the GPL require me to publish my
>> source code to the world?

>The GPL never requires you to publish your source code to the world.

That's true in the direct sense. However, there can be a impetus for it to
occur indirectly because the GPL gives anyone you transfer the code to the
right not only to modify it, but to distribute it as they see fit.  So for
example you cannot make an company that you give GPL code to sign an NDA no
the redistribute it. Once they get GPL'd code, they can publicly distribute
it, even if you do not.

I see it all as very simply: if you want to keep code to yourself then do not
use GPL code (with the one exception of in-house usage only). In every other
instance where distribution occurs, the GPL is virtually designed to trigger
widespread distribution. So if you don't want that, then why use GPL code or
attempt to distribute it?


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