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Re: GPL and inhouse use?

From: Eric
Subject: Re: GPL and inhouse use?
Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 11:00:06 -0700
User-agent: KNode/0.9.2

Byron A Jeff wrote:

> In article <>,
> Eric  <> wrote:
>>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?
> No.
> The GPL only comes into effect when you distribute. If you do not
> distribute, then the GPL doesn't come into effect.
> Now out of curiosity, what types of modifications (in general terms) would
> you consider making that you wouldn't want to share?

Well, suppose, hypothetically, that you added a lot of code to the
kernel/base distribution, stripped out some of the base distribution stuff
(like X or whaever) too in order to create a really robust and unique
testing environment for testing new computer systems. You'd want to keep
that inhouse to prevent your competition from gaining the same advantage
that you just worked months or years to create.
Thats one idea that comes to mind that, if it were my company, I wonldnt
want to share with the world.
> Again just curious. I continually try to figure out why the vast majority
> of the posts in this newsgroup are targeted with somehow circumventing the
> GPL's concept of sharing. It's as if there's some compulsion from the free
> software community forcing folks to use free software and then to abide
> by its rules.
> Why is there this "I want to get something for nothing." mentality?
> Nothing in life is truly free. Everything has strings attached. What's so
> terrible about a resonably fair string that states that you must give
> everyone the same rights that were given to you?
> Eric you've found the one instance where the GPL doesn't have that
> compulsion.
> But I'm curious about all the others.

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