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Re: GNU licenses

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2006 14:18:40 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Alfred M. Szmidt" <> writes:

>    Nonsense.  He can be _held_ to the terms of the license if he does
>    so.  You would not need to sue for compliance if acceptance
>    happened automatically.
> Section 5:
> |      Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any
> |      work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of
> |      this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for
> |      copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based
> |      on it.
> Acceptance doesn't happen automatically, it happens when you modify
> or distribute the program.  If he doesn't accept the license, he is
> breaking the law.  Simple.

And breaking the law is not impossible.  It is not like a law of
physics.  He can be held to the terms of the license if he modifies or
distribute the program.

Just like I wrote above.  And that means he can be forced to _either_
heed the terms of the license _or_ cease distribution.  There is no
magic happening that suddenly puts the rest of his software under the

It is bad enough if the enemies of the GPL spread this sort of FUD.
You need not join them.  _Never_ does any software of yours come
accidentally "under the GPL".  Nothing is licensed as GPL unless you
explicitly do so on your own.  And that is _one_ of several ways you
can come into compliance if you intentionally or accidentally
distributed a work based on GPLed software.  Other ways are to replace
the GPLed components, or to cease distribution.

But there is no such thing as an unintentional or automatic licensing
under the GPL.  It may be the only _legal_ option, but it is not
automatic and can't be defaulted.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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