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Re: GPL is like a cancer

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: GPL is like a cancer
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 07:32:55 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

Thufir Hawat wrote:

What, precisely, prevents the GPL code from using BSD code (copy/paste)? The inverse is prevented, however.

The U.S Copyright Act states:

"§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works.
Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this
title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the

The word "exclusive" means "only the owner" and *no one else* may
"do" and "authorize". The word "authorize" is at the heart of all
copyright licenses. Because of this fact, BSD licensed code forever
remains under the BSD license unless the *owner* should choose to
"re-license" the code under another license.

Many open source proponents and a few judges have spoken of
"downstream" licensing of source code where the owner purportedly
authorizes third parties to again "authorize" (sub-license) the code.
This is an utter fallacy -- only the *owner of copyright* (since it's
*exclusive*) may license (authorize) the use of the *owner's*
statutory rights under § 106.

It is legal to (copy/paste) BSD licensed code into a non-BSD licensed
work and *use* it in that work but the BSD code remains under the BSD

Rjack :)

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