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Re: GPL question

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GPL question
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 10:04:34 +0200

   >    And therefore distributing them even separately through
   >    different channels is considered the same as distributing them
   >    as a whole. So, in other words, the following holds true: If I
   >    decide to use GPL code in my program, I am agreeing to "pay
   >    for the code" with my own code -- because then I am forced to
   >    release my own code as GPL as well.  I can't even release it
   >    under another "free" system, no, it must be UNDER THE GPL!
   >    What is the point of this?!
   > To keep programs free.

   Or, would it be rephrased as to *set* code free, because until that
   GPL code got in there the code was NOT necessarily free to begin
   with (standard copyright restrictions apply unless and until the
   author waives them in a license, permission, etc.) but once the
   author used the GPL code he/she is implicitly agreeing to release
   the entirety of his/her program as free.

No, please refrain from putting words into my mouth.  Only the
copyright holder can set something free, nobody else, not the GPL, not
a judge, not your favourite deity.

   Because it doesn't just keep the GPL code free (distributing only
   the GPL code any not the rest of the combined work would still
   accomplish that) -- it leads to more code being free (the rest of
   the combined work) that may not have been free to begin with.  If
   one doesn't want to set said code free then they shouldn't use the
   GPL code.

It doesn't lead to anythin, the GPL does not force anyone to release
their changes under the GPL, you are perfectly free not to accept the
GPL.  But then you cannot use the GPL program.

   That's the thing I've been driving at all this time -- because you
   don't seem to see the difference between "keeping code free" and
   "setting code free". The former implies already free code, the
   latter implies code that was not free to begin with. GPL does
   both. Not one or the other.

The GPL cannot set anything free, it is not a lifeform.  You as the
copyright holder are the ONLY possible entity that can set something
free.  A judge cannot order you to make something GPL, he can order
you to pay for damages, or similar.

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