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Re: GNU licenses

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2006 12:07:33 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Alfred M. Szmidt" <> writes:

>    Oh, so it's not just to keep the GNU'd software free, but it's
>    also, and this seems more important, to create NEW free software by
>    "force" if you will.  If you want to use GNU code in your program
>    then ALL of your ORIGINAL WORK related to that program has to be
>    GNU as well, you can't just publish that code FRAGMENT and keep the
>    rest secret and under your control.
> If you use GPL code in your program, then you have accepted the GNU
> GPL (see section 5 of the GNU GPL).

Nonsense.  You can't magically have accepted something behind your

> Nothing is was done by force, you explicitly accepted the license by
> using the GNU GPL licensed code in your program.

No.  The GPL even states:

      5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have
    not signed it.  However, nothing else grants you permission to
    modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. [...]

There is no such thing as automatic acceptance.  It is just that
without heeding the terms of the license, you are in violation.  There
is no automatism that makes you magically heed a license: license
compliance is subject to civil law enforcement.

>    So then are you saying that this guy, Thomas Biskup, is in
>    VIOLATION of the GNU General Puqblic License because he is
>    withholding the full source code to his computer game, Ancient
>    Domains of Mystery, which is compiled and built (and written!!!)
>    with GNU libraries such as PDCurses?:
> Please stop confusing "GNU libraries" which is any library part of
> the GNU system, and libraries licensed under a particular license.
> PDcurses is not a GNU library.  Is PDCurses licensed under the GNU
> GPL or the GNU Lesser GPL?

Public Domain, as the name would suggest.

>    Ie. it's designed to not only keep the already-free software free
>    but also to force people to make their own _original works_ free
>    if they want to use GNU free code. To me this seems like a way to
>    bring down the software industry and get rid of creator's rights
>    to profit or control their OWN works.  Is that what you are
>    saying?
> Nobody is forcing you, you accepted the license out of your own free
> will.

Or rather: he decided of his own volition to make use of the software,
in full knowledge of its license.  That does not mean that he accepted
it.  In a shop, the act of taking wares from the shelves implies
having to pay them, but that does not mean that a shoplifter by the
act of taking something off the shelf indicates his acceptance.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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