License Distribution

MJ Ray markj at
Tue Jan 23 23:10:06 UTC 2001

Odd -- I thought this was a private discussion until now...  I'm
replacing a bit of the context to allow others to see it fully.  Hope
that's OK.

Alex Hudson <home at> writes:
> > > > > An obvious example is the Perl GPL/Artistic thing (as
> > > > > mentioned above), but I would bet that a lot of people do
> > > > > dual-license with the GPL - i.e., this is Free if what
> > > > > you're doing is Free, otherwise you pay me $$$.

> > > > You can't restrict GPL'd software like that.  It is either GPL or it
> > > > isn't: adding restrictions violates FSF's copyright on it.

> > > You certainly can :) The FSF doesn't automatically have copyright over
> > > GPL software. A lot of people *give* copyright to the FSF, for either
> > > legal or practical reasons.

> > No, but they have copyright over the GPL, which prevents anything
> > other than "Fair Use" of it in another licence:-

> That's nothing to do with dual-licencing issues, though. Dual licensing
> doesn't alter the terms of either license, it only specifies the terms
> in which you may accept to be bound by the license.

Isn't it?  Can you dual-license and deny them the option of taking the
GPL option?  Even if you can, they can surely be passed it by someone
who is eligible for a GPL licence under you definition, who would only
be able to pass it on as pure GPL unless you're violating its FSF

(PS: In English, to license - verb; licence - noun.  I think.)

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