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Re: GNU License, Again

From: mike3
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again
Date: 21 May 2007 14:45:07 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Kastrup" <>
Newsgroups: gnu.misc.discuss
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: GNU License, Again

> mike3 <> writes:
> > 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 or
> > restrict the GPL program and the GPL program is still being
> > distributed for free.
> That's not the letter of the GPL you are obeying, but some fuzzy
> notion of yours.  The problem here is contributory infringement: the
> infringement is _planned_ and _prepared_ by you with the end-assembly
> to be done in a mechanical way by the customer as your agent.

How is there the infringement when the GPL part is still distributed
the GPL?

> It does not matter _where_ the customer will get his GPL source to do
> this step.  _If_ the customer manages to get a copy from the copyright
> holder under a more permissive license, there actually will not even
> be an infringement.

He would get the GPL source UNDER THE GPL. It's only the *NON-
GPL* program that does not get distributed under the GPL. The non-
GPL program requires the GPL program, but not the other way around.

> Can you explain plausibly to the court that you could reasonably have
> expected the customer to bargain for a copy of the GPLed software
> under a different license?

He would not have to "bargain" for any copy of the GPL program.
And it (the GPL program) would not have a different license -- the
only thing that has a different license is the non-GPL program.

> If you can, you are off the hook, and only your customer may be in a
> mess (depending on just what he did with the combined code).
> > If this is still not permitted, why not? What would be the rationale
> > for 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.
> The GPL is intended to guarantee the freedom of the code itself _and_
> descendants.

And the non-GPL code suddenly then becomes a "descendant" of the
GPL code the instant it is made dependent on the GPL code in
_any_ way, shape, or form?

> --
> David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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