Claus Färber list-fsf-eu-discussion at
Tue Jan 9 23:18:00 UTC 2001

Imran Ghory <ImranG at> schrieb/wrote:
> Not specifically a FSF/Europe thing but some vaguley related
> question about how GPL actually works.

> 1) Does the GPL apply to the GPL, that is can you create a
> licence which is based upon GPL without violating the GPL ?

You can certainly use ideas from the GPL. As there are lots of  
legal requirements you have to pay attention to when you forge  
these ideas into legal wordings, I wonder whether the GPL is  
creative enough to be copyrighted at all.

I wouldn't call it "GPL" in any case. GPL might have become a  
trademark now.

> 2) Can you licence some software under two licences for
> instance, could you write a program and offer it under both GPL
> and say the BSD licence?

You certainly can: As the copyright owner you can chose whom and  
how you allow to use your work. As most licenses grant non- 
exclusive rights, there are no conflicts.

In this special case, it does not make sense because you could  
include BSD code in GPL products and whoever wants to make this  
software proprietary can use the BSD-licensed version.

However, you can't use code added to one version to another unless  
the license includes this.

> 3) If a program is under GPL does that bar it from including
> non-GPL code ?

No, however, the resulting product must be under the GPL. To be  
exact, there must not be any part that has license restrictions  
incompatible with the GPL. So you can for example include code  
that is under the BSD license, under the LGPL (of course) or in  
the Public Domain.

> 4) If you had for instance some graphics which you wanted to
> include with a software package which was under GPL, but didn't
> want to release the graphics under GPL is there anyway you could
> do it ?

> In particular I was considering the following paragraph from the GPL,

> "In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the
> Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program)
> on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the
> other work under the scope of this License."

As long as the image only accompanies the programme and is not a  
basis for it (or vice versa), there should be no problem.



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