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Re: GNU licenses

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: GNU licenses
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 11:00:45 +0200

On 3 Sep 2006 18:50:35 -0700 wrote:

> Perhaps you have misunderstood my statement. I'm saying that does
> GNU demand all your original work to be "taken over" if you use
> GNU code? I guess it does. That's what I mean by "automatic" -- you
> use the GNU code and then either you GNU your whole original
> work or you are violating the license.

Not GNU - GPL. And no, the GPL does not, and cannot, influence what you
do with your original code. Copyright law gives the author of a work
(which is defined by the law) the right to control if and how it is
copied and distributed. 

It is only when you have a work that contains the original work of more
than one author that there is a "problem" - all the authors have to
come to an agreement on how the combined work will be copied and

The GPL is an offer from the author of a GPLed work to the (potential)
author of a work that would "use" the GPLed work as a component. The
offer says: you can use my work _if_ you either 

* do not distribute the resulting combined work

* distribute it under the GPL.

If the offer is not acceptable, you simply cannot distribute the
combined work. You retain _all_ rights to your original work (this even
if you would distribute the combined work under the GPL). You can also
contact the author of the GPLed work and ask her if she would be
interested in licensing it to you on other terms (like the payment of
royalties, or a license fee). If you come to such an agreement, you can
distribute the combined work under another license (or no license at
all, in which case standard copyright provisions would apply). 

_None_ of your original work is _ever_ "taken over" by a GPLed work.
But neither can you "take over" a GPLed work and use it for your own
purposes without heeding the wishes of its author. 

Take care,

Stefaan A Eeckels
   The one thing IT really needs to outsource is the freakin' clueless
 managers that don't understand that there are more possibilities than
chaos on the one hand and the reduction of alternatives to zero on the
other.                    -- Richard Hamilton in comp.sys.sun.hardware

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