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Re: GNU License, Again

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: 21 May 2007 13:03:34 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

On May 21, 5:22 am, byron@upstairs.(none) (Byron Jeff) wrote:
> In article <>,
> mike3  <> wrote:
> >Hi.
> >Here's the scenario:
> >I have two programs, a GPL program and my own program, to which I
> >myself own the copyrights.
> The point is moot then. If you own the copyrights, you can do anything
> you like with the programs. Copyright is always about what rights the
> non copyright owner has, not the copyright owner.
> >Now, I take a couple of pieces of the GPL program and install them in
> >my own program,
> You've already stated that they are both your own program...

No I didn't. Sorry if I didn't state that the GPLed stuff was someone
else's, but it is in this discussion. Otherwise it would be a non-

> "[both], to which I myself own the copyrights."
> It's only an interesting question if you do not own the copyright to the
> GPL program. That's the question that 99% of folks ask on this
> newsgroup.

That's what I'm asking about.

> >and then release the resulting package under a proprietary or other
> >non-GPL license,
> You can do anything you like as long as you own the copyright to both
> packages.
> Now if you were not the copyright holder of the GPL code, you could not
> do this.

Even if I release the GPL program separately even though it is a vital

> >BUT I go and also include in that package AND in
> >another source like a website whose access does not require buying or
> >otherwise obtaining said package, ALL of the GPL code that was used,
> >licensed _under GPL_.  Even better, I put that code in a form (like a
> >DLL) that is _separate_ from the non-GPL part(s) of the program and
> >hence, could be easily separated from the non-free program and the
> >non-free program distributed in a non-free way while the free code is
> >distributed in a free way compatible with GPL.
> Again I'll tackle the question from the point that you do not own the
> copyright to the GPL code. As David pointed out in another recent post
> it depends on if the GPL functionality is duplicated elsewhere. If that
> functionality is unique, then your code would need to be GPLed. If there
> is duplicate functionality, then you can do what you proposed.

Functionality is unique is the situation I'm asking about.

> I think you're missing the point on the GPLed code. Its distribution
> isn't as critical as the non GPLed code.

Why? What is the purpose of making the license that way? Oh, that's
right -- to create MORE free code.

> But your initial entry point is the correct one. If you write everything
> and you own the copyright to everything, then you can do whatever you
> like. The issues arise when you attempt to do the same with GPLed code
> that you do not hold the copyright for.
> >So, would this be permissible?
> It's yours in your example. You can do whatever you like.

So then if I do NOT own the GPL program, but make it a vital unique-
functionality component, however I do NOT distribute it (the GPL
program, not the non-GPL one) in a non-GPL way and only distribute
the NON-GPL components of the program (ie. the ORIGINAL) ones
in the non-GPL way (since I own it I can do whatever the heck I
please), then it is still OK, since I'm still not trying to take over
restrict the GPL program and the GPL program is still being
for free. Perhaps I should rephrase the question. Make sure to read
this, it is important! It better captures what I am trying to ask!
Given an
original program, and a GPL program I do not own, and then I interface
my program with the GPL program so it is dependent on it, but it
is also made in such a way that the GPL program and non-GPL
program can be offered separately, the GPL parts offered under
GPL and free, while the non-GPL part offered for a price.

If this is still not permitted, why not? What would be the rationale
making the license that way? It does not seem to be to preserve the
freeness of the GPLed code, since the above scenario would still
keep it free, after all.

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